It's election day! Aug 18th is the primaries, local and state representatives are elected or move on to the runoff in November. Of course the highly anticipated Presidential election is set for November 3rd. The election season is nowhere close to being over and we should wrap our heads around the new reality of the campaign and election process. By all means, its a completely new landscape.
THE MONEY GAME
Millions of dollars have been raised to effectively run campaigns. The goal is to bring awareness to the candidates and their platforms. As you can imagine, It's been particularly difficult for campaigns to raise money in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic. This new reality is hitting smaller campaigns in cities where populations are at or under 150,000 people. The door to door efforts, rallies and parties go out the window.
THE NEW CANDIDATE
In this new world; this new reality, new candidates have a shot at pulling upsets. We've seen this with the rise of newcomers on the local and national stage. In some ways the pandemic has been a great equalizer. There's no question that a returning candidate will raise more money than a newcomer.
But there are new avenues and angles that new candidates can employ today that never existed before. Each of them aim to bring the candidate closer to communities, and interests groups. Can you ever thing of a time when being associated with Black Lives Matter would either invite sympathy or scorn as a candidate? New candidates can take risks that incumbents can't afford to take. The new candidate still has an uphill battle, but the battle is one worth fighting if done so strategically with face time (over the internet) with voters at the core.
THE INCUMBENT/EXPERIENCED POLITICIAN
The incumbent is always going to be at an advantage, but during a pandemic, all bets are off about holding rallies, parties, and any other large public gatherings. New skills and messaging are being developed and leveraged and many of them are in the digital world.
Public debates have been replaced with Zoom debates. Candidates that were caught off guard are now racing to establish a social media footprint. Name recognition becomes an even greater asset. New candidates that can gain a foothold in specific communities - both on the ground and in the digital world will define the future of politics. It's a different world.