“I am not worried about what they might find, because I know the truth of this problem,” Biden then told a group of former President Barack Obama administration and campaign alumni in a virtual fundraiser. He has rejected calls to open his Senate record, which is housed at the University of Delaware, saying that it does not contain personnel records and will be used as political food.
The presidential contest is moving forward on dangerous terrain, even with the most basic campaign fundamentals suddenly uncertain. It was the most critical six-month stretch in Biden’s long political career, the outcome of which would determine whether his long efforts to win the presidency were realized.
With voter registration drives, rallies and organizing events on hold, the two campaigns are looking for new ways to reach their supporters. The prospect of a busy summer political convention is also highly doubtful, so increasing prospects for the next 184 days is very unusual.
While Biden had the initial lead in recent votes from several battlefield states, his advisers prepared for a brutal fight with Trump. Only five of the 18 ruling presidents who have run for re-election since the turn of the 20th century have lost.
This campaign will take place in a traditional state, with the Biden campaign ready to concentrate the most intense efforts on the battlefield of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. But Trump’s weak position in the early stages of the race could create opportunities in Georgia, Ohio and other states that Trump carried in 2016.
His aides believe that Biden has a unique asset – empathy and decades of experience – that matches the political moment at which the 2020 race will be held. Biden at a fundraiser late Friday said Trump was “the worst person to deal with a crisis like this. He seems to be really overwhelmed by it. He has no team, temperament or, to be honest, moral authority to take active.”
But the former vice president won the Democratic Party’s main election with an analog campaign, with a base much older and less involved online than competitors who were far more familiar with modern digital organization and persuasion tactics. He is now under pressure to adapt to the environment in which his retail political skills are evaluated and his relatively simple digital presence must grow quickly.
His aides are in the early stages of discussing what the return of the traditional campaign will be like in the coming months, a Democrat familiar with the talks said. Biden has spent the past seven weeks holding virtual events and raising funds from the basement of his home in Delaware, but helpers are considering the possibility of holding smaller-scale events, such as touring when the sites reopen.
“I miss seeing people,” Biden said in a recent live broadcast of Instagram with his wife Jill and soccer star Megan Rapinoe. “I look into someone’s eyes and hear their worries and stories, that’s how I get information and that’s what I like the most.”
Biden also for the first time faced opponents who were willing to attack him in a way that no other Democrat would do.
Following Biden’s interview on MSNBC on Friday morning, where he said allegations by former aide Tara Reade that he committed sexual violence in 1993 were “incorrect” and “never happened,” campaign spokesman Erin Perrine said Biden dug deeper ” “hole.”
The Biden Campaign rejects the idea that the reluctance to release Delaware letters is the equivalent of this campaign with Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, with aides saying they should be compared to Trump, who has repeatedly refused to release a myriad of records.
Trump on Thursday said he had been “accused many times” and suggested Biden might as well be. The comments blur the line between the accusations faced by Biden and more than a dozen women who have voiced allegations against Trump, ranging from undesirable progress to sexual harassment and assault. Trump has denied the allegations.
Bridging parties that are divided
The Biden Campaign also seeks to bridge the eternal split in the Democratic Party after a hard struggle and find out if and how it can hold a summer nominating convention – and if Biden can guarantee attention four nights without tens of thousands of Biden people gather personally.
Obama has signaled his intention to make winning the White House a top priority over the next six months, said aides, who promised to campaign aggressively for Biden and in House and Senate elections. The former president believes his biggest contribution can help unite the Democratic Party.
While Bernie Sanders and all of the 2020 Democratic main candidates have supported Biden, the gaps in the party remain palpable, with hard work ahead to bridge the gap.
The official function of the convention is to nominate Biden as a party presidential candidate. But it was also a four-night prime-time showcase that featured all the most prominent party figures making the strongest and most unbroken case for their candidates – important moments normally expected by the campaign would give their polling numbers encouragement and encourage their supporters.
Biden and Sanders previously announced their team would form six policy working groups on immigration, criminal justice, economics, climate action, education and health care, and the former vice president had made a substantive policy offer on Medicare eligibility and student loan debt. Some of the top advisers to Biden also worked with progressive groups to seek their input as the campaign moved forward to the general election.
Biden’s aide said that – partly because Biden and Sanders personally got along – the two camps have worked well together so far. Sanders’ former aide, Jeff Weaver, founded the super PAC in support of Biden.
New digital organizing effort
By distance social and work from home practices, organizing the field has shifted to digital format.
Biden’s campaign staff had left their headquarters in Philadelphia, with the staff instead of moving to their hometown or hiding in a small apartment that they hoped would not spend much time there.
With a knock on the door, direct voluntary training, and substitute events are now impossible, campaign organizers are trying to reach out to voters via telephone, SMS, email and social media.
“Our main goal is not much different from that if we are in a direct campaign. We are looking for ways to engage new supporters and invite them to take action with the campaign and build frankly, our troops, volunteers,” said Molly Ritner, state director for the Biden campaign. “And second, we look for opportunities to connect with voters in ways that meet them where they are.”
The field committee has replaced traditional door knocks with community incoming calls to ask how people deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers and supporters participate in virtual house parties to connect with voters in their communities.
“Although we might not make it difficult to ask questions or knock on their doors like we would be on the ground in a campaign, I think we find if you meet people where they are, we have very effective conversations that we really believe people will remember in the month November, “said Ritner, who noted that any return to traditional field organizing would involve a lot of planning and following recommendations from health professionals to ensure the safety of organizers and supporters.
Biden’s campaign seeks to arm supporters for digital warfare. A week ago the campaign held a summit for more than 700 supporters focused on showing supporters how to create and share content on social media. A volunteer is building a pro-Biden Pinterest board; many others make videos.
The Biden campaign reached 63 million video views on all social media channels in April, and defeated Trump in digital advertising in March.
Online fundraising is taken
Biden’s fundraising has also moved completely online, with the former vice president holding almost daily Zoom events with donors, while reporters listened.
A Biden fundraiser in close contact with his aides said that at first it was difficult to get donors to participate in online events, rather than waiting for direct fundraising.
“But over the past, I say, three weeks, maybe longer, it’s very clear this situation will last a little longer than most people think, people only agree that this is a new norm and this is the best way to support the campaign , “said the fundraiser, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign discussions.
The agreement means large Democratic donors are allowed to give a maximum of $ 5,600 to Biden – half of it to be used in the primary; in half for general elections – now can cut checks that are much larger.
The presence of Biden’s small online fundraising has also increased rapidly. His campaign has more than doubled in email list size since Super Tuesday.
“We always know that Trump and the Republicans can have significant financial benefits entering the summer. That concern is exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis and the inability of our campaign to conduct its own fundraising when a typical presidential campaign will be carried out. , “said Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Rufus Gifford. “But what we have seen in the past few months makes me very optimistic.”