Magazine May 18, 2020, Issue

What Will—and Won’t—COVID-19 Change about Our Politics?

A man demonstrates against the extension of the emergency Safer at Home order in Madison, Wis., April 24, 2020. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
A look ahead at the infection election

As recently as mid February, President Trump seemed to be in the best political shape he had ever been in. His job-approval numbers had been climbing since late October, as impeachment and Democratic primaries dominated the news. Bernie Sanders had won most of those early primaries, suggesting Trump would be running against someone who divided his own party and held a suite of unpopular views. The unemployment rate continued to hit new lows. We seemed to be on track to have the fourth incumbent president reelected in a row.

Then biology upended politics. We now know less about how November will

This article appears as “The Infection Election” in the May 18, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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