No election in modern times has EVER been more important – for the United States and for the world.”
That’s the word from Bruce Wolpe, a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre, and an author and regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia.
Wolpe, who has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama’s first term and on the staff of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, will join an online panel discussion hosted by Croakey this Sunday examining the global health implications of the election.
Participants in this inaugural #CroakeyLIVE event will also hear from Dr Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, public health academic at Wollongong University, Vice President (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) of the Public Health Association of Australia, and Co-Vice Chair of the Indigenous Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.
Associate Professor Lesley Russell, who provides a handy election guide below, will also join the discussion from 5pm AEDT on Sunday, 18 October. It will be moderated by Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University, and Croakey’s Dr Melissa Sweet.
Lesley Russell writes:
In the run-up to election day on November 3, there will be many polls on the national vote for president, the support in key swing states, and a whole range of races for the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The polls are of variable quality and so the safest thing to do is to follow the trends.
Here are four recommended sites with polls, poll averages and analyses:
Key issues for voters
A Gallup poll released October 5 ranks key issues for voters as follows:
- The economy
- Terrorism and national security
- Response to coronavirus
- Race relations
- Gun policy
- Climate change
An August poll from the Pew Research Center ranks the key issues as follows:
- Supreme Court appointments
- Coronavirus outbreak
- Violent crime
- Foreign policy
- Gun policy
- Race and ethnic inequality
- Economic inequality
- Climate change.
Exactly how these issues rank depends on party alignment. You can see the Pew Research broken out this way in this graph from Statista:
Key health and healthcare issues
A September survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation asked respondents what specific healthcare issues get their vote:
- Increasing access to health insurance coverage, such as universal coverage.
- The cost and affordability of healthcare, including the cost of prescription drugs.
- The coronavirus pandemic
- Medicare and seniors’ concerns.
A healthcare issue that no longer seems to resonate with voters, especially Republican voters, is the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Only five percent of Republican voters saw abolishing Obamacare as a top healthcare issue (compared to 29 percent of Republican voters in 2016).
This slide show from the Kaiser Family Foundation is an excellent summary of where both presidential candidates stand on health, healthcare and coronavirus issues.
Looking into the future – the key issues
- The US Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act
- Ongoing measures (health and financial) to address the coronavirus pandemic
- Affordability of health insurance and healthcare
- Women’s reproductive health rights
- Health, social and racial inequalities
- Gun control
- Climate change
- US international leadership in global health.
Dr Lesley Russell is a non-resident fellow at the United States Studies Centre. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. She has worked as a senior policy advisor on health for the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, for the Obama Administration and for the Australian Labor Party in the Australian Parliament. Lesley is a contributing editor at Croakey, and also began contributing the regular Health Wrap column in early 2018. Her research interests include healthcare reform in Australia and the US, mental health, Indigenous health, addressing health disparities and health budget issues.
How to participate
Register for the #CroakeyLIVE here.
A second #USvotesHealth event will be held after the election, from 3pm AEDT on Wednesday, 4 November. Stay tuned for more details.
Follow this Twitter list of #USvotesHealth participants.
Please download and share this flyer (as also pictured below).