Don’t let those countdown clocks on the corner of cable-news screens tell you how many days we are from Election Day. In fact, it’s already here in seven states, as of today.
That’s right, the early-vote calendar kicked into gear this week. That means every single day, people are hearing the candidates’ final arguments, watching their last ads and clicking their last email before they’ll cast ballots. Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming are all open for ballots in varying ways. It’s go time.
That’s exciting if you’re a voter just ready to pull the lever — or lick the stamp, as the case may be this year — and tune out until November. But if you’re a candidate in these races where fewer and fewer people are truly undecided, every day is your last to bring someone over to your side. That early, daily sense of urgency could generate a lot of bald-faced claims from both candidates in the next six weeks. I’m still waiting for the 10% tax cut President Trump promised in the lead-up to the 2018 election. An imminent coronavirus vaccine appears to be the new tax-cut promise in President Donald Trump’s latest chronology.
That’s why, over the next six or so weeks, the stepped-up fact-checks from the media and the rapid shut-downs from rival campaigns, national parties and outside groups will seem relentless. The ads will also, with empathy for friends in swing states, seem never ending. More than 60,000 White House-focused ads have run in Florida alone between July 29 and Monday of this week, according to a Kantar/ CMAG analysis for Five Thirty Eight. Trump dominated the airwaves early, only to see the Joe Biden effort overpower the President on the air and in some polls. Expect no sanctuary on TV, smart phones, social media and video game consoles.