What to Watch For Between Now and the Election

September 6, 2020

By Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs

The Democratic and Republican parties recently held their respective nominating conventions, introducing their presidential candidates and party platforms for an election that’s barely two months away.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will challenge President Donald Trump among hundreds of local Congressional races in an election year beset by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest, exacerbating an already deeply divided nation.

As the conventions drew to a close last week, NGA’s Government Relations team hosted a webinar to deliver an overview of each party’s policies and their potential impact on independent grocers following the 2020 elections.

Here are some key takeaways from that presentation:

Three key factors between now and the election: Biden and Trump’s performance in the Sept. 29 presidential debate is one of the few opportunities to sway undecideds in an election season short on rallies and other live events due to the pandemic. The Oct. 9 vice presidential debate will introduce Biden running mate Kamala Harris to most voters, pitting her against VP Mike Pence. Additionally, developments in the fight against COVID-19 and its impact on the economy could sway voters.

Dems could strengthen their hold on Congress: Shifting sentiments in traditionally Republican-leaning suburban districts could strengthen the Democratic majority in the House. A routing of Trump and the GOP could spark a change in House minority leadership. While Republicans still hold the Senate, they’re defending seats in states won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Broad appeal vs. loyal base: While light on policy specifics, Democrats used their convention as outreach to moderates and Republicans unhappy with Trump. Meanwhile, Republicans reached out to their base while painting Democrats as radical and out of touch with mainstream Americans.

Policy impact on independent grocers: In general, Trump policies favor tax relief, no minimum wage increase, repealing the estate tax, expanding right-to-work protections and “harvest box” changes to the SNAP program. Biden policy positions include increasing the corporate tax rate, phasing out small business deductions, boosting the federal hourly minimum wage to $15, stricter employer health care requirements, and support for and expansion of SNAP, WIC and GusNIP.

For more information on NGA policy initiatives and how to get involved, visit www.grocerstakeaction.org.

To view this complete webinar and others in the series, visit: https://nga.sclivelearningcenter.com/MVSite/default.aspx