Everything is a little off about this election, even its traditional fall kickoff. It isn’t only because coronavirus wiped out gigantic Labor Day celebrations for candidates to attend.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, fell on the latest possible date, Sept. 7, while Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, will be on the second-earliest possible date, Nov. 3. So even the campaign’s final stretch will be truncated. Still, it’s a good time to take stock of the race.
Trump partisans don’t believe it, but national polls show former Vice President Joe Biden continues to be ahead. The race has tightened, though, especially in battleground states. Anxious Democrats are wondering if this could be the sixth contest in history and second in a row in which the Electoral College winner loses the national popular vote.
Shifting concerns about COVID-19 may turn the race even more in Mr. Trump’s direction. A Sept. 7 NBC/SurveyMonkey poll found that 52% say the pandemic is more of a health crisis, down from 56% in a July 7 survey, while 47% said it’s more of an economic crisis, up from 43% in July.