Is the U.S. Headed Toward a Short British-Style Election?
From the White House to the county courthouse, the coronavirus has fundamentally transformed political life in America, affecting how candidates communicate with voters, raise money from donors and confront their opponents.
This is for now the country’s first virtual campaign, as the risk of disease physically separates candidates from the people they seek to represent, and pushes officeseekers from Mr. Biden on down to appeal to homebound voters and contributors through balky web videos.
Incumbents at every level, starting with Mr. Trump, will be judged on how they prepared for and steered the country through a crisis that has turned the life of nearly every voter upside down.
The duration of the election season itself is likely to shrink significantly. The presidential campaign, which typically dominates news coverage for much of the year, could look more like one of Britain’s six-week general election sprints.
The long sweep of American history is filled with presidential elections that took place during times of war and upheaval, but there is little modern precedent for a campaign unfolding against a backdrop of such widespread national fear.