Around New England

Could College Football Cancellations Help Trump’s Re-Election?

August 12, 2020

Former Republican Cabinet secretary William Bennett predicts that the sporadic cancellations of the upcoming college football season because of coronavirus will help President Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election.

Bennett implied that the frustration of men who follow college football teams in the Midwest may move them toward voting for Trump, who has called for a more aggressive re-opening of public life than most establishment figures in government have.

With about three weeks to go before college football usually starts, two major conferences have cancelled the fall season – the Pac-12 Conference and the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 consists mainly of schools in California, Oregon, and Washington state, which are safe Democratic states in the November general election. The Big Ten is centered in the Midwest, and includes schools in swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, the Southeastern Conference, which is made up of Southern schools, and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is mostly made up of Southern schools, plan to play – although some observers are wondering if they will.

If they do, Bennett sees political gain for the president.

“Look at the way this lines up. You have the coastal west, you have the urban Midwest, not playing college football. Where are they playing college football? The heart of Trump country, Brett,” Bennett said Tuesday, August 11 during an appearance on Brett Baier’s Fox News Channel show Special Report. “The [ACC] appears to be ready to play. The SEC … they’re going to play. And this is about — a large topic, we should talk about some time, which is a geographical, and cultural, and in some ways political divide of major consequence.

“I think that men in Ohio are going to shift to Trump maybe a point or two because of this. These things matter in people’s minds, because they send cultural signals,” said Bennett, host of The Bill Bennett Show podcast.