WASHINGTON: The 2020 US Presidential election is much different than previous elections owing to people being nervous about the country’s future amid nearly 8 per cent unemployment and more than 231,000 Covid-19 deaths.
The division and anxiety are evident in conversations among voters in long lines outside early voting places and across browning autumn lawns where warring yard signs pit neighbor against neighbor, said The New York Times.
According to the NYT report, a fundamental unease about the country hovers over most other concerns voters describe as they cast ballots: The future of America troubles them more than whether they may lose a job in this recession, whether they could become ill in this pandemic, whether they could personally be harmed by violent crime.
The national polling by the NYT and Siena College has stated that the voters fear the US could lose its democracy.
“That sentiment means different things to voters on the left and the right. Republicans describe fears of creeping socialism from within the Democratic Party and deep changes in American values amid protests against the police and historical figures. Democrats fear threats to democracy from within the White House itself, as they describe Trump undermining the country’s institutions and rule of law,” the NYT stated.
Similarly, the opinions are divided on the issue of economy, importance of wearing masks and whether the schools should be re-opened with full attendance.
According to the NYT report, the official unemployment rate in September was 7.9 per cent, and more than 12.6 million people are unemployed — five million more than when Donald Trump took office.
In several battleground states, including Pennsylvania (8.1 per cent), Texas (8.3 per cent), Ohio (8.4 per cent), Michigan (8.5 per cent) and Nevada (12.6 per cent), the jobless rate is higher than the national average. Others are faring better, with Wisconsin at 5.4 per cent, Georgia at 6.4 per cent and North Carolina at 7.3 per cent. All, though, are in much worse shape than they were a year ago, the report noted.
Another point where the US citizens are divided is — Coronavirus. While the Democrats believe the worst is yet to come the Republicans believe that the worst if behind.
Nebraska, which splits its Electoral College votes and has been a focal point for Trump, has averaged more than 1,100 coronavirus cases per day over the last week, the most of any point in the pandemic, NYT highlighted.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan is worrisome.
Besides these factors, the Americans are worried about voter fraud, disinformation, misinformation, possible violence and disruptions to ballot casting.