Michael Ginsberg (45), a Republican from Centerville, VA is an attorney and aerospace engineer. He is vice president and deputy general counsel for CACI International, an information technology company that contracts with federal defense and intelligence agencies. He is a leader of the Suburban Virginia Coalition, which aims to improve Republican standing in suburban communities that have “taken a hit over the last several cycles.”
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
Has Donald Trump’s presidency turned out the way you thought it would back in 2016 when he was first elected president?
Yes, it has. I believed several of his major accomplishments—revising the tax code, appointing conservative judges, and changing the dynamic of the Middle East peace process—have happened. It is about what I hoped for and expected.
Has Joe Biden turned out to be the type of candidate you expected at the start of the primary elections?
Yes, he has. I think he is a placeholder for a Democratic Party that has a lot of tensions between different factions and represents a compromise candidate.
What does Donald Trump need to do to win the election in November? Do you think he has a chance?
He needs to have a disciplined message, not get caught up in esoteric disputes, and contrast what he is doing with what Democrats are promising to do.
What does Joe Biden need to do to win the election in November? Do you think he has a chance?
The Democratic agenda is unpopular. He needs to stay far away from the Democratic agenda and take advantage of Trump’s rhetorical recklessness where possible.
If elected, what should Donald Trump do to bring the country together?
Find common ground on something with the Democrats, if possible. Pass some kind of bipartisan legislation. Maybe multiple small pieces of legislation rather than major legislation. What foreign policy folks might call “trust-building steps.”
If elected, what do you think Joe Biden should focus on for his first 100 days in office?
Find common ground on something with the Republicans, if possible. Pass some kind of bipartisan legislation. Maybe multiple small pieces of legislation rather than major legislation. What foreign policy folks might call “trust-building steps. (Yes, this is the same answer I provided in 6. That is deliberate.)
Do you have any concerns about the general election in November, and if yes, what are your concerns?
I believe neither party is prepared to accept losing, and one side or the other will be irreconciled to the outcome. Both parties are stoking this fear and it should stop. It is a dangerous development for a democracy.
Should in-person voting be required in November? Why or why not?
No. There are too many people legitimately afraid of COVID to prohibit mail-in voting. But I believe the scope of mail-in voting should be limited more narrowly to defined at-risk populations.
Do you think Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests will affect voter choice?
Yes. Though I don’t think the underlying issues are the president’s fault, I don’t think his handling has demonstrated the kind of empathy and concern voters want to see.
Do you think COVID-19 will affect voter turnout? If yes, how?
Yes. I think in-person voting will be lower, and people making mistakes in mail-in balloting will lower the overall turnout.
Do you think the closure of voting locations across the country due to COVID-19 will affect elections in your state in November?
Yes, because not everyone will vote by mail correctly, or they will lose their ballot, or some states will require voters to request a mailed absentee ballot and voters will fail to do so.
At this point, what is your preferred method of voting in November? Why?
What are your thoughts on the current state of the pandemic in your state and across the country?
It’s not bad in Virginia. We have reached a steady state.
What are your thoughts on the reopening of schools across the country?
I think we need to do it. Kids are regressing badly and they need the social interaction.