Personal Prognostication Snapshot:
- The crisis will increase in severity through at least July, driven by severe healthcare shortages and consequent too-late severe quarantine measures further braking the economy, as we have seen in Italy.
- No measure big enough to offset major economic downturn will be able to pass in Congress.
- So, lots of unemployment and almost no relief.
- If we get the disease, and the public mood, under control before June, Trump is reelected in November. This is soon enough to avoid the worst economic pain, so that we all recalibrate our narratives and return to our baseline levels of (dis)satisfaction. Biden will be an ineffective nominee and, perhaps narrowly, end up as John Kerry 2.0.
- If we get there between June and September, Trump loses in November, since by then it’s too late to prevent the massive economic pain’s effect on his already-bad approval numbers.
- If the crisis drags on much of the way through September,
the Trump admin attempts to use emergency powers big pressure in Congress from WH and some states to postpone an imminently disastrous election. Honestly not sure if SCOTUS upholds against the inevitable legal challenge. [edit 3/19/20: apparently the prevailing legal theory is that only Congress can change the date of the election. How exactly that plays out in a pandemic, I’m not sure. But even so, I think election-postponing is for sure going to be on the discourse table.]