FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: Coronavirus, Uncertainty and Politics

The crew discusses the coronavirus crisis and the uncertainty and politics surrounding it.
49:31 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: Coronavirus, Uncertainty and Politics
Hello and welcome to the fight dirty politics podcast I'm Gayle and to renew American life has changed practically overnight. So how are Americans reacting and how it's changing our politics. Were in a situation where even polling from the last week may already be outdated. But public opinion is our thing so we'll talk about what we do know so far and what presidents we have to rely on. In terms of what might happen next. Also tomorrow is primary day in a number of delegate rich states. Florida Ohio Illinois and Arizona so what kind of margins should we expect for Biden and how could the corona virus impact the election will brawl. He would meet to discuss our editor in chief gates over Chanukah on. Good thank you. And managing editor Mike a common area. Very good thank you. And Claire is out again today but she will be back wins us soon we definitely mr. and we know our listeners due to accurate Albert back. Let's begin win of the novel corona virus. So I know that things are moving too quickly for polling to truly reflect what Americans are thinking right now. But neat what can we say according to the most recent data that we have about how concerned Americans aren't the degree to which start tuning in. If that are upset or satisfied with the political response. I don't like the polling data it really is. Speaks to that much because it's all happening so fast. You know if you look at data on actual behavior. Restaurant reservations are down about like. Fifty to 60% and its increasing every day. Box office receipts of moves are down fifty or 60% of the past week. Cities are emptied out. That's a candy which you're looking at because the polling that was going to be three days behind in an epidemic. Things accelerate at exponential rates on thyroid care about the polling. Yeah I mean I will say that way and we talked. Last week on Monday about. The polling we noticed that there was a partisans weigh in how Democrats and Republicans were reacting to crisis. Angry you know that was polling from the week reports are the two weeks ago we set up partisan split may dissipate as time goes on. Pulling the ABC did last Wednesday and Thursday at which runs you know when things have started ramping up obviously. Wednesday as when prompted an Oval Office speech and also when we found our March Madness was canceled. And it still appeared that there was a partisan split that 83% of Democrats were concerned. Vs 56%. Are Republicans being concerned that day or someone they doubt. Might. Is should we should we expect that this will continue even further this partisan split and why might this be happening Micah I think you're always in the seats. Evidence of partisanship in polling it's just the nature of the beast you know if you look at. Some of the pollsters have asked questions about like how confident are you is in C. Federal government's. Ability to respond to a crisis like this and there you see more of a partisan split then you do in question site. How confident are you and your local government right or how confident are you in Trump's ability to handle this. Any in in that the short version of that right is the closer you get to trump the more you see a partisan split. But I will say about the polling though is. One. It does back up just the unprecedented. Scale. The scale in terms of how much a says affected People's Daily life. You know NBC news Wall Street Journal that a Paul. Which they ask them pretty standard polling question have you seen read or heard the news coverage about the spread of the corona virus. 99%. Yes and 1% unsure. That I think I was reading the Wall Street Journal report on it and they said that like that is the highest number they've they've gotten on that question. Pretty much in modern history right. This in other words this is a story really unlike any since I don't know nine allowed then I mean just in in the way it touches. Everybody's life in terms of news coverage and that's a Mike 9/11 frankly you know. Hasn't paid it isn't probably real or to more people around the country. In terms of the partisan split you know back to that NBC news Wall Street Journal poll they asked again this is mid last week. In general do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the corona virus 45% approve 51% disapprove. That pretty much almost perfectly mirror says overall approval rating so I think so far. Were seeing the partisan. Allegiances hold. How much they're actually holding verses this is just what people are telling pollsters. You know I think we'll have to see. But I would I would. I would have a sense for those things separately in mid may be made disagrees but like. What are people telling pollsters as Mon thing. How act as Nate was getting at how people actually behaving. Howard they actually feeling. I think there's a different day and want someone asks you about it. It sort of activates. Those partisan it. You know there's tribal loyalties. Want to talking to an outsider right. Yeah you imagine 9/11 and of course during 9/11 those partisan loyalties kind of fell away that we saw George W britches approval rating. She would op and are a rally around the flag service say. Neat thinking about historical precedents such as 9/11. Is just the kind of event that we would expect to clout through partisan allegiances. Eventually. No. I mean because I think there's one question in the way that the government has responded. And that's pretty obvious to people. I don't mean necessarily in a positive way but also could even be in a negative way but that. You know people this is the kind of event unlike impeachment form any of the other events that we've seen the past three years. Bet this won't eventually split along partisan lines. So here's what we know right we know that no probability we're gonna have a severe downturn in economic activity. In the second quarter here that can last anywhere from weeks to it after year or more we know now. We know that when you have a decline economic activity that is bad news for the incumbent president. And the public you know maybe isn't so concerned about. The bodies they just tempted not be very happy and blame the incumbent. I think in this case you might have more reason than usual to blame the incumbent. President right in the you can imagine that that Biden commercial for the Bloomberg funded commercials. Our data show the many times that cup said this is not a big deal. Juxtaposed against people. Sick people in hospitals and overrun people losing their livelihoods and I just feel like people are dancing around the fact that this is like now to get an effort down from. Politically. Well I don't I haven't really good people dancing around so much I've heard people kind of proclaimed that this is the end of Donald Trump and pundit pundits at least. Well let me go to our old friend the Scottish teams right you know it's from. An almost 2% to be reelected. I don't think that's right. I mean they're making the situation right I don't think it's right given that like he's behind right now Biden by a decent amount. And the economies may get a lot worse. I think that's like kind of weak too optimistic for him and I wake optimistic but like I don't know I think if you. Plug in a model with expected kind of growth of the next six months probably negative or neutral or zero right that it would not have compass 5050 to win re election. I agree with Nate that it it feels like a fairly safe that dad. Corona virus. Will negatively impact trumps reelection chances either because. The government's response to curve run a virus. Is lack game. Coupled with resonates of the many times trump downplayed corona virus in the beginning. Combined where. Any negative. Economic effects. The Arab. Response to corona virus causes right. I'm not sure which of those is will be the bigger. You know factor in in Trump's chances but that you just have to really date things that have present huge downdraft downside risk for him. The interesting thing though that that who that this showed up to net ABC news exodus Paulus to some extent trump is kind of damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. You know trump gave that date speech Wednesday night. And date it says ABC news access poll found that more Americans said they were concerned about getting in fact dead. After the speech 73%. Compared to 59%. Who were interviewed on Wednesday prior to the speech in other words. The more. The more trump tries to present day ham responding to this big deal. Well the more it it it is presented as a big deal and I think the more likely it would be to cut across party lines. Look the party lines will be at like. Eight dampening factor. On any effect this hats on Trump's reelection chances I I think that's just as much of the safe that. As it is that this will hurt trumps reelection chances so that's good news for trump. But it seems like it just so much downside risk for ham. It's pretty hard to ignore. Yeah and of course you know did. Damned if you do damned if you don't aspects about trump being straightforward with the American public about the potential risks and seriousness with which has an approach. The subjects you know that's a given that the president should be direct kind of effect. I mean it it to some extent I'm kissed and made it is is trumps cake already cooked at this point given that he downplayed it at the beginning is that like. You know even if the government roars and action now you know as you said are those commercials cut and net and the cake baked so to speak. A best case scenario. For the country right. Will be that social distancing pretty radically bands sticker. That. You know essentially as a today. So the key number here is what's called. Left and control that seems like roughly two and a half people. Get sick with corona virus for every person who cares right. Some people think it will lower maybe 2.3 actually difference might matter let's call it can act for now right you have to reduce kind of contacts enough. That two and a half false. Under one thunder wanted to gradually begins to die out. You can find some evidence of him Lombardi for example Italy which is the worst affected area you can start to see the spread is following a little bit which what you expected people are quarantined. Or self quarantine leader or at the very minimum. Everything is closed depressing severe social distancing. So you know you could start to see things also some evidence that maybe seasonality effects things right he could imagine a world where. Things get back to normal after. A couple of months. But that produces a big upsurge economic activity. But then you still have probably long lasting economic effects from a lot of you know a lot of restaurants perhaps be honest right. Some of the restaurants that are closing are gonna reopen right. Some of the personal trainers and dog walkers and you know house cleaners in all these services are not gonna come back on line right. The effects on sports are going to be serious consequence for arena's even if we are. Back to semi normality kind of certain large conferences and gatherings and probably might be. Delayed for a year. But there are some areas we're like it's back to. Eighty or 90% of normal body election year Portland Austin just no second surge. A corona virus in the fall is another concern that's how the Spanish flu worked in 1918. So you know. In that scenario that maybe he'd be kind of OK maybe kind of say well only. Right I thought let's say only 200000 Americans get it. Right assembly wildly optimistic. Of those. 1% died. You know I don't know if he had downplayed batter is gonna say that this is actually I don't know I mean there there's an unknown acting out like. Axis there's she'll be rooting for arson stereo society in areas where we're. Things did pat think that is South Korea around where things kind of gradually unity China is a better attempted to get really bad candidate for. Let me knee you're just talking about what a best case scenario could look like. Given the spread of the corona virus on the Politico tape on the United States so. But really this is an on certain situation. And I'm sure of it are westerners have spent time over the past week or so looking at some of the different models for how this could go depending on what action we take. You know as somebody who spent a lot of time modeling uncertainties and spent a lot of time writing about it talking about on this podcast what's your reaction been to you this kind of task of trying to model uncertainties. In this circumstance with corona virus so let's. Talk about basically force sources of uncertainty. And written it better like a reading it myself back I feel about it. Current terrorists. So here or here we're challenges that you face. Number one infectious disease and tragically. Nonlinear right. If you assume that case increased by. 30% today. For a given period of time vs 15%. You mud out over a couple of weeks and exit to get him in a difference. Therefore were small changes to his argument for an. If that's 2.2 vs 2.5 verses three and that makes a big difference. Number Q testing is inadequate in many countries most notably in the United States. So we're kind of finally catching cases that may have been around for a long time. My guess on their own people can recover after an out. Working days amendments some from the party pattern and it's gone and you never catch it right alike. But clearly as we ramp up testing capabilities and right now there. On the order of 28000. Tests rep the United States that are not all being used efficiently is there might be in the wrong areas. Tests are still being rationed. And so as to finally get adequate testing and substance you hope there for there to be more. Positives you'll sort of be even more negative ratio the ratio. Positive negative test gradually goes down so he can track but like. We don't have good data and tenants that the US had to retreat weeks liking behind what's actually happening on the ground. Number three is that cove in nineteen is a novel strain of corona virus about which relatively little is known so you cannot have terribly strong Pryor's about. How behaves. It seemed that scientists know something's about how it's transmitted. Maybe as much they would like to we don't have an things like Colin to develop immunity to this disease we don't know things like. How much temperature as he's now nobody would affect things potentially. There are questions of are there degrees of coded right can you have like a larger viral load. Or smaller why and how would that affect exiting clearly see big differentials across different regions. And countries and I don't know that we hired really know why those are. And fourth most importantly is that behavioral interventions like social distancing can make it big difference. When you sometimes hear about worst case scenarios. A van in the those kind of assume that like if things go on unchecked immunity is bought and checked. Then the math it's kind of easier in a sense right where it keeps. Doubling and doubling every every several days until you eventually have. Was known as herd immunity. Where enough people have it never covered permit where where does it transmit as well that's after may be. The pain you ask anywhere from 40% to 80% of the country's deficit depending on kind of again what that are zero number is. And again I don't zone isn't necessarily know how long immunity lasts at this point once you count of us are. Yet. It could be permanent it could be a year could be. Five years we don't we don't know right. You know in the long run the man. You need some combination. Much more effective tracking. They vaccine. And treatments right. It seems of those three that. The vaccine. You know we should have met here from greatest threat and why the like that you just take a long time to actually. Put into place at broad scale wealthy team and stimulus speaking. I don't know much about the treatments you know I do not unlike. The scenario I mean for the Americans bear to think it matters like how much in my willing to. Have potentially. Invasive. Monitoring. In exchange for relaxing. Social distancing. Is probably kind of the trade off that American space. In South Korea which has had not as much social distancing their very strict particles when when some of his quarantined in some of these countries there are things like. We look at a restaurant or not this place they take your temperature right. You know I had her and her prediction I think Americans. After. Several weeks have been of a social distancing probably more than that would be eager to say I'm happy to go to. The bar. If I actually my temperature the door for. You know I'm happy is certainly some like it to school and after like. Right and so so there are a lot of unknowns and I think generally speaking in front of it what other I noticed like. It's I don't think there's quite a consensus. On line and the possibility that like. Eventually ten years. Eradication. Right now take a lot of people think well probably going to be percolating effort. Several years often on right but we don't know if like eventually happen country does gag order there wasted. Killen often in some viruses mutate over time and become become less severe so I don't think like. I don't think anyone knows that grace therefore like when you hear like the best case or worst case Americans you're kind interval right but like you know. The worst case here might be ten times or hundred times worse than the best case scenario and you see people like with overly narrow ranges than then. They're probably not being realistic. My guess as an avid news consumer and the managing editor this site. And somebody to talk a lot about how the media covers data and unknowns what you made of how that data has great how the media has portrayed these unknowns park. I mean let me let me answer than a couple different ways one is like look certainly there have been cases I think where. The ware reporting has not. Adequately factored in. Different kinds of uncertainty that different kinds that made it that they just laid out you know one example I think we were talking about what site. You know laying out the worse case scenario numbers. Or look look at that there's been laying out different scenarios. Without factoring in. The fact that people can respond to this right so it's like. If you're going to lay out what might happen and you have to factor in how. You know the fact that we're social distancing and all that passed not so like. Without a doubt some outlet some reporting has not done a great job. Describing and talking about all these different kinds of uncertainty. I think mine my more honest answer would be just as like. A person so as a person who as he said is reading a lot of corona virus coverage. It is. You know probably more familiar. Whip. The way uncertainty in probability works than your average American but by no means an expert. I. Personally have actually had a hard time. And sort of calibrating howled nerve this. To be about all of this. Thought and some yes announcing night. You know OK I can run to the grocery store and debt. Natural bag of rice debt so mattress supplies. That seems like a fairly easy. Prudent measure. Should I be stocking up on food well via beyond that. Should I. Then be beat out should I walk my dog. Only on the at least crowded streets like he got a mean. This did against certain key for me it's like really personal in the sense of and I think this is true for a lot of people where like. You don't know. How much to freak out basically are how and what precautions are overkill we'll precautions are and it does not make sense. Our under present I mean as somebody who's been alone and has apartment for the past week it's like or rolling cents OK panicked and things are gonna be okay right. You don't know which is going to be which day and it varies a lot with what kind of news is. Reading the paper at any one time right at it also depends on which kinds of experts horror. You know political leaders are talking at any given time right there's a lot of fluctuating it in trying to calibrate wrist on a personal level. I mean knee as somebody to calibrate risk for a live today I mean what's your experience. Well there are a lot of things that worry about her eight year history adapt. You know. Personally how are you doing you have to worry about me more importantly. How. Relatives and friends who're who're in a position where they'd be more vulnerable are doing right and I think it it probably doesn't take. Many people are going to think it all people their life who might be. Older right. Or you know compromise where you can really think about it before but now monikers the other person we've had this issue and like out of a few really heard. You know then there our house affect my business than there are. Logistical. Decisions right like I. Full disclosure and I wanted. The Kansas City last week grant family and I was hitting the fan that is for an virus. And kind of you know. The world to my falling apart while you're here reflection it impacted. New York if Sony wanted to drive to complain right what happens after it Iceland and it's like Egypt to think about. I just that it more or like. Selfish concerns like OK well. And all the sudden like you know has nothing to do right. You know so it's like it's all in and there's a society white separate you aren't here to canal we selected equation. Turning in my head of that kind of how. How I'm looking at the dead at in my mental model of different scenarios and their relative. A likelihood obviously this kind of effects the maker things I've heard it covers elections in sports like everything else. Are affected by this. You know ID. I think like I'm pretty good at like. I'm you guys kind of known at my Catholic I've been kind of talking about current fires are few weeks right it's gonna like if you have liked. Things that are growing exponentially and there's a certain. Inevitability to what happens until people start taking dimensions and try to flatten them back her. It's a kind of like OK you can kind of in match of things coming you can imagine like. People locked down utility is weeks ago when Wuhan where people are locked down there are buildings Mike's into each other and other arrangements and in Italy right. Not that hard to say okay well when things come here in the city could happen here if anything I think. The fact that like European. In western countries have been willing to do various of the year. Lock downs is good right you know there's lots of debate about. What do you do after six weeks. Ireland is much debate that no matter what you do six weeks that kinda slow things down now. With both voluntary and frankly mandatory social distancing is good idea. What what's so interesting. And we've written about this on the site is just the way. Sports function as like. Barometer. For for people you know ot I I think my tendency is always to just be like other things are worked out. And so light I particularly need the you know with these kind of stories are with like. Even pat terrorism for example I don't. Have a lot of anxiety over stuff like that it was really when the sport's season started being canceled. Where I was like. A rose. Okay. And since then I feel like I've probably had a better calibrated sense. You know what the risk is here what to write responses. But it really is he you know like a real life case. You know we. That we spend it's like you look everyone comes at this from their from their own management right there like. We spend a lot of time talking about probability. Talking about uncertainty. And now the entire world. Is wrestling with those two things. I think in many cases wrestling with them well right. But certainly in the US at least early on not wrestling with them well and I think guys like a lot of other people including. You know. People who lead this country. We're slow on the uptake in May me like he said. You know are very early on came in Emma site we knew we got to get on corona virus more. He I mean I think. We talk a lot about uncertainty of treatments and to everybody listening you know like this as well uncertainty feels like so I mean kind of an interesting. And pressed talked about on. A personal level in terms of trying to understand. The unknowns and the risk typically about one thing that really helped me. Is reading a lot of foreigners and getting a sense of what's happening in countries and staying in touch with people who and it went Iceland Italy has shut down for weeks now until late getting a sense of all of those kinds of measures and how people are reacting to that because their two weeks out of us right as the experts say. And so note knowing that people are still oil tank a lot of people are still okay things are bad by you know. People are from speaking at three watches videos of people singing from balconies and things like that Davis is a moment where we spent so much time looking at American news and being so American centric. But booking other countries' responses and how people are faring under typical. Circumstances. Is like kind of a good thing to view an order to understand the unknowns at this moment. I do think that if you'd. This program if people think I'm announcing right. If you're good at like. Revising your Pryor's he had a lot of areas where it moments over the past. Month or so right. They designate you can sometimes the pattern. Glimmers of hope in the data that I think other people because they were slow over their heads around it might not see right certainly the numbers from. South Korea and China are. Very positive. You can begin to see some slowdowns depending nineties when the data. In some other badly affected countries you know Italy you know in Washington State in Seattle rather. There was sometimes numbers are leveling off we are now write and produce what we're also interpreting these status here for the first time right what happens if a lab is slower on the weekend and week day. And then therefore they are for your case visited certain Monday right what happens it. Thankfully eight look at finally gets 800 U testing kits damage certainly finally pass on these tests. A lot we don't know but like you can like you know. It be very different. If you hadn't seen cases of the curve being. Not merely kind of flatten the kind of broken and in. A South Korea and and and China right and so like. At some point. Will reach a point where. People's lack of ability to deal with exponential growth in people's kind of sense that hey it's all be fine. You know. At some point. That kind of optimism bias will. Probably collide into the pessimism bias of like people not only had her release statistics people being locked in their. Homes or apartments for days and weeks and maybe even you know we now locked in bits of your hostess increments potentially at some point like. The comment was look I'm probably too pessimistic you know anger at that point yet. Yet where it is regarded as IRS. Are uniquely American Frank Gore is seen all over the world again if you thought. It's often is melted in the very. Daisy anyway right relative to lose. You know if you thought to excavate what happened wrote debt office. And now looks like some countries have. The middle turnaround and it's not spreading its Baston. Some parts of the world living in who literally that need it does seem like there is something having to do with. Temperature right. You don't see mass outbreaks of the most are and I want to speculate too much right but like. But there are. If you accept it's gonna be really bad. Then. There's a lot of room to debate that's like after two data whether we're talking. Really really bad verses. Really really really bad vs catastrophically bad. And maybe you're weird or like me that you think OK well today. It's looking more really really bad that really really really bad you have a mean and relatively rich think about it like I do you think that like. This people tried wrap their heads around it. Understand that number one. In the US that we're at least things are gonna get. Much worse terms the number of reported cases in the past two or three weeks next to a two weeks because testing capability is wrapping up rapidly right. It couldn't be that as of this weekend. As of Monday were and we finally team. No social distancing are suddenly acumen such distancing that like. Actually new transmissions are going down a lot. Maybe even. Utility a multi fold increase in the number of cases. Over the next few weeks navy and thought that the good thing because it means that more tests are being taken right. You know I and I start to think a little bit more about like. Different. Middle games for this I guess because the in game seem like its weight unknowable but like what happens. When things. See what they're certainly get better you know one against the US does have. Even though we bungled that obviously the kind of first stage of preparedness. As we can look at broaden carton we can look abroad right and okay sought Rita Davis and actually they're not a lot of re infection. Submit if we have. What's the testing and monitoring. Then we don't have to keep sight sit down for years now until we find a vaccine right. Italy tried this right the UK tried this you know. They've had a recurrence we have to careful not to if they did. You know I don't know it would I don't want instant editorial you know it would make me feel better that we had. The people in charge of the government who were. I don't know internally it's right broad able to make any evidence based decisions yeah and not be politically motivated. That to me get that something we touch on an earlier podcast which is. This idea that trump to it in a lot of ways I'm in just its impact to the politics of this. Trump in a lot of ways has been lucky. That an external crisis had not presented itself. Such that his. Sort of disorganized. Ad hoc decision making process. Became problem right. For the most part not yet we have lots and lots of evidence. That the process the White House uses to make decisions. Is gulf and over the place for a it. It's not a it does not seem like a good. Sound evidence based process trump had largely been lucky that that that had not caused many issues. He stopped getting lucky I think with corona virus right. What I don't know though is what it was talking about where. In terms of people's expectations right. What do people expect. Can't happen here. And therefore are. How will what eventually does happen compare right if people right now expect. You have to be overly dramatic about it right like the you know all of society to be shut down for six months. Then net. You know some of the some of the better case scenarios. Could look really grow nicely for Thompson errors work were rooting for right. On the other hand if people. If people. Are still not taking this overly seriously or if they're taking it seriously but actually what eventually happens is even worse than that. Anyway if it's to say how reality compares to what people expect I think we'll go a long ways for towards determining. To what extent that kind of partisan loyalties hold to what extent people. Hold the trump administration accountable and therefore it affects his reelection chances. It's it you don't Dee Dee same uncertainties that that may gaming out what happens. With the virus in the real world. Make gaming out the politics of it also hard even though I think we all agreed there's much more downside risk for trump. But I don't know what you guys have opinions on what people. Expect or is it just all over the place. Like and it's just hard for everybody and I think. I think people can give a bit more. Empathetic to the fact that like people are mature. And they're dealing with a profound destruction their lives. That involves not just knocking do as much fun stuff but like profound destruction every facet of their lives. And I do you think they'll like. There will be. Pressure on things that I don't know you'll get to see at a time mean in. Korea and Italy and went neither to be pressure on. Things to reopen on what you make kind of call you know because unlike seats acts like kind of safe. Socializing. I think right where things you can do that. Involving out of our homes but may be involved napping crowded. Compact spaces. But like gag me the consequence there. Are severe either direction. Because I think people into and be happy to say okay to which it watching Netflix this kind of thing frame right it's a lot more than that. And Buffy heard the time interval potentially in terms of you know it's not just stay in the senate united like everything is different for attending. Yeah I think we can all agree wit that assessment name at least in terms you know as time goes on and we'll get more difficult. Americans are you know the polling shows that Americans are starting to think that way it NBC Wall Street Journal poll you cited earlier Micah. A majority of Americans said that they thought that things were going to get worse and senate kind of gets your expectations a little bit. And we're gonna keep tracking the data here as time goes on we'll have more to address it will do more now says. Before we do you wrap up this podcast I want to get to. The election tomorrow which in any other circumstance might have led this podcast. Although of course as listeners know the primary is not that competitive. But there's still some corona virus implications for those elections tomorrow so we'll get to that Americans are gonna head to the polls tomorrow in Florida Ohio Illinois and Arizona. In what we've taken to calling it the FOIA primary status or higher on. Although many people of course have already early voted in those states are voted by mail and there are a lot of delegates at stake Biden has not. By a locked in all four of those states. It's also the last time that Democrats are going to be weighing in on this primer for awhile we've seen postponement in Louisiana and Georgia. On so let's begin with this buying our Florida Ohio Illinois and Arizona. Why have they decided to hold their primaries tomorrow. Give in these concerns. Well number one it's not a negative post on elections that that's. Precedents that are are essentially. Nothing if you want to have their open questions when the election is held. Number two all of these states particularly Florida and Arizona have relatively liberal rules about. Mail in absentee balloting so there are ways to cast your vote they're going to polling place. And numbers recently pursuant to that. Because they do you rely heavily on male and absentee balloting. It's. It's. You very had a lot of the vote casts. Right. And sung the election kind of already has been happening. And soon. By canceling it tomorrow are you holding all those ballots for months or you invalidating. They have a mean I don't know right because what you saw happen on one day anymore. Visit actually striking the secretaries of state from Arizona Florida Illinois and Ohio released a joint statement last week and they sat Kuo. A like concerts sporting events or other mass gatherings were large groups of people travel long distances to congregate and in a confined space for an extended period of time. Polling locations keep people from a nearby community coming into and out of the building a short. Duration they talk about sanitizing machines and things like that and then it want to say. Americans have participated in elections during challenging times in the past. And based on the best information we have from public health officials are confident that voters in our states can safely and securely cast their ballots in this election. And that otherwise healthy poll workers can and should carry out their patriotic duties on Tuesday but put up a bipartisan and across several states. Statement about the importance of voting and the safety of orders for anybody in. You know Florida Ohio on artwork Arizona. Thinking about this that's at least what the public officials have sat. I think I agree with that right it's like. Elections. Make out at this but you know elections unlike a lot of other things. This stakes are very very high there's a lot of intrinsic. Small. Should be done lightly as opposed to you know. Relative to an election canceling an NBA season as vast as is economic consequences are. Or suspending and ambulances and you know that you don't really compare. What I what is site. Get and you were actually getting at this point. On the podcast the other day. In in a lot of ways it is incredibly lucky that the democratic primary. Appears so. Wrapped up you know. If this was a 5050 raids and Georgia and Louisiana decided to spy on their primaries. Georgia and Louisiana. Are. Are among Biden's strongest natural states right. The demographics in each state just. Are good for pod and large black population in southern states there's just like it doesn't get much better provided. If this was more 5050 race and all the sending you had. George and Louisiana be like actually we're gonna vote may. That would have the potential to fit tipped the primary I would think or at least greatly affect the primary. It's not a 5050 race. But I think it does speak to the fact that. New keep you can understand why these states are holding the election and there's all types are reporting about all the precautions. Poll workers. And election administrators or take king. They get elections so elections are important. You know we're Jeff skelley whenever elections announced that the doing a story rate now about. Kind of all the elections we've had. Need to US has had during very trying times. It's in we've done before. It's tricky obviously but that we've done it before and and you know can't summon an election as is not the same Estes spending an NBA season right. Yeah I want to talk to Jaffa and maybe some other historians about elections during crisis times at some point on this podcast. Also our science writer Maggie Kurt baker has a piece coming out about public health and elections in one of the suggestions. Was actually. You know not have at risk populations help administer the elections as an old people sick people and have a bunch of you know twenty and thirty year old navy. Go and volunteer at election sites. Since so often our elections are. Administered by senior citizens. Navy while everyone's that hold more you know some people are home if they are able to work from home can go volunteer to help make our elections happen. Dillon that that smacks a little bit too much of the Hunger Games and tributes and honored and inspect it okay advocates are now can look at. But anyway let's talk about the actual elections tomorrow so Florida Ohio Illinois and Arizona are models terrorists bide en. We. Ninety plus percent chance winning all of those states in many cases by twenty to thirty points as a benchmark. What should we consider Thabeet. You know I think a lot of people are going to be paying attention at least to turn out just to see how. The virus is affecting people's. You know ability or interest in Sharon after the polls so. Maybe just we can judge off this benchmark how come normal the election turns are being. Neat what's the benchmark that we should expect for how well Biden does on Tuesday. I mean this special caucus with the primaries and as long as he wins in states plus the margin. I can I don't need internal revenue trying to judge I don't mean in terms of trying to judge who's going to win the primary and in terms are trying to judge. How representative the actual results are what we expected from the polls because I think people are going to have questions. About what turnout was light if you don't people turned out to vote but will people stay home or anything like that. Instead he can you know you'll see what Karen isn't you can resolute rations on it and say okay well here's what looked like and similar systems often this much in the state. And why was that either for states that are fairly diversity you'll have they're easier to stay in seats that are more idiosyncratic. You know I mean one can keep in mind is like. You gonna have probably higher ratio of early and absentee ballots. To doubts cast on Election Day solution relate well. Maybe this'll happen help Bernie. Because all people stay away from the polls and and young people will go right. I'm accurate secure enough for number one that. I'm not a clear who will stay away a bit of that were to happen we're probably happen is that everyone stays away to some degree and therefore early and absentee ballots. Earth a larger share of the electorate and the listen to be older voters that would be good for Biden actually. But you know I mean you know which can they be looking and seeing whether anything really weird happens and I think you'd be. By Leslie is big enough and all we're state where if he were to lose then. Any of the states he said to have to ask you know was because corona virus. It'll be very tricky to tease apart. The results in terms of what was what was affected by corona virus tomorrow was I mean to take it you know. Biting and solidified its grip on the race so quickly. That I think in a lot of ways the coalitions are still changing right. You know we did a piece and nearly. And that then know that a piece for the site about those can have and some evidence that. As I again became the clear front runner that basically the presumptive nominee. That there's a chance at more Latino voters. Will move overt to buy it and write the tuna burgers had been a group that's Anders. Was way outperforming wet. And that's just that's leaving aside Florida right where there's. A day Cuban American population. Which is pre disposed to. Ted. Go against Sanders and vote for Biden because it sent. Sanders identification as a democratic socialist some of stuff he said about Cuba. Bit I just mean that like. You know. Let's say let's a young voters on Tuesday. Our last pro Bernie than they have been on past election days. Is that because of corona virus or is that just because Biden is the presumptive nominee now and there's a lot of people who. You don't but why vote for someone who doesn't have. Real plausible chance to win the nomination. Arrogant. Yeah exactly so like I I think it can be very hard. Is that they turn out drops a time is up because a corona virus or because the nomination race is basically over. It's going to be really hard to say. All right well we roll keep track of what happens and have updates for folks when we now really things are for now they CUNY. I think you know dates Micah. Thank you live. My name is Gail under Tony chow is in the virtual control room you can get in touch right emailing us at podcasts at 530 dot com. You can also of course greeted us when any questions or comments. If your fan of the show beavers are reading or review in the apple podcasts to work or tell someone about us. Thanks for listening and sees. It. Yeah. You.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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