The combination of COVID-19 and security issues definitely impacted the voting process. An overwhelming 96.5% chose to vote early in-person (62%) and by-mail (34.5%) with only 3.5% opting to vote in-person on Election Day. This may also prove that late campaigning’s ROI has been cut dramatically in today’s environment. The challenge will be on the states to verify and confirm a totally transparent process to avoid disruptions and possible social unrest.
Single digit TV ratings for the debates confirm that interest was mainly to observe and confirm their support for a preferred candidate. A strong 93.1% never considered changing their vote and 6.9% may have changed their perception of their candidate but not enough to change their vote.
According to a recently released Gallup/Knight Foundation study, four out of five (80%) Americans are concerned that misinformation on social media will impact the outcome of the election. If you have watched any TV lately, you’ve been exposed to a barrage of political advertising. Does negative advertising work against the opposing candidate? Does outrageous claims matter? Is it just to satisfy the candidate’s core group? The majority (72.4%) see these types of campaigns as over-the-top with little value to the process, and another 24.1% wishing that they would concentrate on policy. It is obvious that while this trend may continue, being a contrarian may be a smart move for some future politicians.
So after such a negative and contentious election, if it is a close race do they expect a legal challenge? A surprising 82.8% does with 17.2% taking the optimist route that all will accept and move on.
So after all the negative advertising, a contentious election and hopefully a short legal battle what do they expect? Not too surprisingly, their concern about the country’s divisiveness is real with 100% not seeing a post-election united country. Most (65.2%) are not too sure on what’s next but hoping for the best, with 34.8% thinking that there will be division but working toward common ground.
In 1876, the Republicans who had won the Civil War nominated Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Democrats, still smarting from the loss eleven years earlier, chose New York Governor Samuel Tilden.
On Election Day, there was a concerted effort by the Democrats to repress the African-American Republican voters in the South that were mainly in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina which had Republican controlled election boards. Initial results were pointing to a Tilden victory in all three states, but allegations of fraud, and intimidation from the Democrats found the Republican controlled Boards invalidating enough votes to name Hayes the winner in all three states, giving him and the Republicans the electoral votes for a razor sharp victory of 185-184. At the end the Democrats and the Republicans agreed on an unwritten deal "The Compromise of 1877" where Hayes would be President while the Republicans agreed to end the military occupation of the South and also end the Reconstruction Era.
Are we at the point of having to resort to an unwritten deal to accept the next President? Would like to think otherwise but in an era of COVID-19, anything is possible.
Stay Safe & Let's be optimistic!