It is of great interest among the researchers to know the factors that might affect this year’s U.S. election. Many researchers have the opinion that events of recurrent protest against racial injustice will highly impact the election. Also, other researchers focused on the effect of the current pandemic on election 2020. Northeastern’s distinguished professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences, David Lazer, highlighted the fluctuation of opinions among people. He talks about the opinions of citizens on the mail-in voting system.
Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers, and Northwestern jointly conducted a COVID-19 survey in fifty states of the nation. The survey notes that the reality of voting is “dramatically affected by the current environment”. Citizens are afraid to step out of their house to cast their votes, and many prefer mail-in voting. They also noticed a difference in opinion between the supporters of republican and democratic groups. Voting by mail got overall 60% support, majorly from democratic supporters (81%) than the republican supporters (44%). The West coast voiced their preference for mail-in voting and parts of the deep South coast showed the least support to this method. The researchers think that the conservative and partisan approach of the Southern states resulted in their indifference towards mail-in voting.
Further, in the study, the researchers received more responses in voting via mail. Particularly, the African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic respondents are more likely to vote if the option of mail-voting is available. These communities preferred 10% more than the White citizens.
This survey is conducted every month, which is highlighting the fluctuations of opinion in the citizens. David Lazer said that those who are concerned about COVID-19 do not want to take a risk in going out to vote. They are against the in-person voting system. However, he also shows interest in learning the opinions of the people of Arizona or Florida as there is a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. He believes that the surge of the disease will highly influence the attitude of many people towards voting for election 2020.