3rd Quarter 2020: Navigating the 2020 Elections

Firm Highlights

JAG continues to make long-term investments in our clients and our future growth. Over the last six months, we have welcomed three team members to our St. Louis and Chicago offices. Gregory Lowhorn joined our business development team in St. Louis, and we recently hired Jason Ng as an equity research analyst. Sheryl Dineen, based in Chicago, is our new Marketing Manager.

Navigating the 2020 Elections

So far in 2020, investors have been forced to navigate a global pandemic, the onset of a recession (which ended a record-breaking 127-month expansion in the U.S. economy), huge adjustments to our business and personal lives, the near-cessation of global travel, remote work, broad societal unrest, spiking crime rates in many cities, multiple hurricanes, and terrible wildfires in Northern California.

For better or worse, 2020 is not finished with us yet. During the final stanza of an epically challenging year, we are heading into the final stretches of what could be the most contentious and exhausting presidential election in recent memory. At the time of this writing, many polls favor former Vice President Joe Biden to win the presidency this November. This would leave President Trump as the first single-term Oval Office occupant since George H.W. Bush’s loss to Bill Clinton in 1992. Of course, around this same time in the 2016 election process, many polls favored Hillary Clinton to prevail.

We know from history and current polling data that close to 50% of Americans will be disappointed in the result of the 2020 election — no matter which candidate prevails. We also anticipate that after enduring the coming weeks of incessant political ads, media pundit bloviating, nasty fights on social media, frequent and unsolicited political emails, and phone calls, roughly 100% of us will be at least somewhat relieved when the election is over. However, in keeping with 2020’s hard-earned reputation for delivering unpleasant and unprecedented complications, this particular election will be held amidst the worst pandemic since 1918.

Traditional in-person voting may be difficult or impossible in some areas, and many more voters will cast their ballot by mail this year than ever before. Potential delays in processing millions of mail-in ballots could delay the declaration of the ultimate winner for weeks. In other words, while November 3rd will come and go as the calendar turns, we should prepare to deal with election-related drama for a long period. Election Day 2020 could very well turn into Election Weeks, so we should manage our expectations for political closure accordingly.

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