Episode 144: We're Not Ready For Some Football

30 minutes

8/13/20-- After much anticipation, Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden has officially announced his 2020 running mate: California Senator Kamala Harris. This is a historic selection in a number of ways. Harris is the first Black woman to be on a major party’s presidential ticket. And because Biden has said if he is elected in 2020 he would not run for a second term, Harris would be well-placed for a 2024 presidential run if events run that course. And, because there’s ALWAYS a Massachusetts connection, the announcement puts an end to speculation over who might fill Elizabeth Warren’s Senate seat if she were to become the Vice President. (Still much speculation to come if she’s selected for a cabinet position, though.)

Across the commonwealth, schools are deciding how to start the academic year. Different districts are choosing different plans. Some are beginning with all-remote learning, some with all in-person, and others with a hybrid approach.

Steve mentions one thing to keep an eye on is the economic impact of school reopenings. One sentiment he's been hearing is, "I will not be able to keep my job if I’m also expected to be home and if I’m expected to be supervising [my kids'] learning.”

As the primary election approaches and anxieties remain around voting in-person, a new survey from The MassINC Polling Group finds about 4 in 10 Massachusetts voters plan to vote by mail. Among those voters choosing the mail-in option, a stunning 85% of them plan to vote for Biden, with just 9% of them planning to vote for Trump. Election night this year is going to look different from every other election night in recent history, with tallies coming in later than we've come to expect. In Massachusetts, given this data split, we could see Biden's votes racking up much more slowly than Trump's come election night.

Sports teams are facing a hurdle as Major League Baseball is postponing scheduled games in response to the latest COVID-19 outbreak among its players. Meanwhile, basketball and hockey are happening, but in bubbles. MassINC Polling Group Research Director and Vice Admiral of Horse Race sports correspondents Maeve Duggan stops by to give her take on the future of sports in the age of coronavirus.

Maeve points to polling done by Seton Hall earlier this spring that found, for the most part, sports fans are not comfortable attending games in person until a vaccine is available. Plus, a series of Harris polls released this summer found a majority of Americans (58%) don't even think the MLB should be playing right now.

Maeve directs us to Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle, who said, “Sports are like the reward of a functioning society." To that, Maeve says, "Do we have a functioning society right now? I think many would argue no."

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