The Impact of COVID on the Election Business

By Jordan Miller

The coronavirus pandemic affects not only our day to day lives, but also America’s 2020 Presidential Election. Fewer campaign rallies, meet ups, and opportunities to get involved in politics are all aspects of the election that are different now because of the virus. One thing, however, that hasn’t changed are campaign signs. Displaying a yard sign in support of a chosen candidate is a popular way to let others know one’s preferred candidate. Chair of the Department of Political Science, Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha says that rather than seeing a decline in political participation through yard signs, this year signs could be even more popular than ever before. Even though buying signs and campaign merchandise in person may be more difficult due to limited store capacities and stock, online purchases of yard signs are still prevalent.

“I’m not seeing a decline so much in yard signs, those seem to be out and about,” Eshbaugh-Soha said. “I would suspect that the traditional means of gathering campaign t-shirts and signs have declined, but there are certainly plenty of more non-traditional online and other means to get that gear.”

The number of candidates running in the election also has an impact on the number of campaign signs you can see around Denton. On the ticket this year there are plenty of contenders from both parties, but that hasn’t always been the case. Chairwoman of the Denton Democratic Party, Anjelita Cadena said she figures that people are more interested in buying yard signs when candidates from their chosen party are running, even in smaller races.

“I think we're seeing a lot more signs than we did before. And that's probably because in Denton we haven't had that many candidates, the Democratic party, hasn't had that many candidates. And if the Republicans don't have any Democratic like opponents then they don't have to campaign as much.”

Regardless of the way Denton residents choose to show support for their candidates, voting turn out is increasing like never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many things about the election this year, but Denton voters still are showing up to do their civic duty at the polls.

“It really does feel good when, whether you win or lose, that you know that you made an effect,” Cadena said. “That you did your best for what you believe in.”

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