SIPA’s Shapiro Presents on COVID-19 Effects on US Elections

April 09, 2020

At the beginning of April Robert Shapiro, Professor of Government and of International and Public Affairs at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), presented “The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the US Presidential Race.”

“The name of the game is the electoral college,” he said during the live webinar co-hosted by the Columbia Global Centers in Santiago and Rio de Janeiro. The swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will be key to winning the election, while with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, health costs, the number of deaths, and the economy of the states will be focal points.

“The thing to watch for is how quickly the health crisis resolves, and that’s uncertain now,” he added. “Ironically, how quickly this resolves will affect the actual conduct of the elections, in terms of whether they can be held in a normal way or if they will have to be held by mail, going through the primaries and even possibly the general election.”