It’s Thursday, March 26. In today’s newsletter: The presidential race isn’t the only one battered by the coronavirus outbreak. Plus: Lessons from the health care fight.
« TODAY IN POLITICS »
(KYLE GRILLOT / BLOOMBERG / GETTY)
How do you run for office during a pandemic?
Super Tuesday was a little more than three weeks ago, but the familiar theatrics of a presidential primary feel like a world away.
The presidential primary has faded into the background (leaving Joe Biden hanging in “suspended political animation”), there are still important down-ballot races that are suffering from the end of retail politics as we know it during the social-distancing era.
Sure, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders can move to digital town halls and Zoom press conferences while holding on to their fundraising war chests and maintaining their advertising machines. But the people running for mayor, city council, or state legislatures face the toughest climbs.
For one, a lot of them can’t even run for elected office full-time. My colleague Adam Harris reports:
Many of them are parents whose lives are now in flux because of school closures or job losses, said Amanda Litman, the co-founder of Run for Something, which helps recruit young people to run for elected office. “Many of them work in jobs that might be considered first responders right now,” she told me. “That means they are now balancing working from home or really high-stress jobs with taking care of their kids [and] with campaigning. That was hard enough when campaigning meant going to events at night and knocking doors all weekend. It’s 10 times harder now.”
And while state and local candidates often focus on the bread-and-butter issues that affect their own communities when they run for regional seats, nationwide public-health and economic crises have forced them to pivot their messages to broader national issues.