Introduction ix systems of racism, sexism, and other discriminations imposed by the elec- torate and, in some cases, by the media. Just as the diversity in the presidential candidates illustrates the push-pull of progress, so too do the events in the summer of 2020 that engaged—and in many ways overshadowed—the campaign. That summer saw a reinvigo- rated call for social and racial justice in the wake of high-profile police kill- ings, notably the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These protests established the Black Lives Matter movement as the largest in the history of the United States. It is estimated that 15 to 26 million people (up to 10% of the U.S. population) participated in one of the nearly 5,000 protests that occurred in approximately 2,500 cities (Buchanan et al., 2020). Although Floyd’s murder was the proximate cause of the protests, they were also reacting to a long list of police killings that pre- ceded it, as well as the violent way police responded to protesters and the countless other ways Black lives have been denigrated both before and as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic (Bouie, 2020). More than a year after these protests, progress on the injustices that called so many to the streets has been stymied (Booker, 2021). Just as protest and calls for progress disrupted the 2020 campaign, so too did the ongoing pandemic. In the spring of 2020, not long after the Iowa Caucuses, the United States entered a prolonged shutdown to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This shutdown overlapped with a period of time in which, during a traditional campaign, the candidates would be crisscrossing the country holding large in-person rallies, meeting potential voters in din- ers, and spending extensive time interacting with people in various states ahead of their primary elections. Although each political campaign was forced to react and adjust to the pandemic, the 2020 presidential candidates adopted different approaches. Whereas Biden engaged in a largely virtual campaign strategy, avoided hold- ing in-person events in times and places when infections were surging, and encouraged social distancing and mask-wearing when in-person events were held, the Trump campaign seemed to flaunt these guidelines, opting instead for numerous large rallies with little social distancing or mask-wearing (Blanco, 2020). One study of the effects of 18 Trump rallies estimated that these events resulted in 30,000 additional cases of COVID-19 and 700 addi- tional deaths beyond what would be expected had Trump not held these rallies (Bernheim et al., 2020). Perhaps the most infamous of Trump’s pandemic-era rallies was the first in-person rally to be held after the pandemic halted regular campaign events. Trump returned to the campaign trail in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, 2020, against the wishes of local public health officials (Seddiq, 2021). These health officials later suggested that the rally was responsible for a subsequent surge in cases in the area (Jones, 2020). As part of the rally, Trump’s team flew in
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