Both candidates accelerate their campaigns in the most contested states, jumping from city to city in record time. The strategies.
President Donald Trump plans to step up his already dizzying travel schedule in the last full week of the presidential campaign, overlooking the increase in coronavirus cases in the US and a new outbreak in his own White House.
Trump is expected to appear in almost a dozen from states in a last-ditch effort to regain ground from Democrat Joe Biden, including Sunday’s trip to Maine and Tuesday’s trip to Nebraska. Both states grant electoral votes by parliamentary district and could be crucial in a close election. The president will participate in 11 events in just the last 48 hours.
Also Biden plans resume your travel schedule with the aim of reaching the six states in high contention that the organization of the campaign considers key to its possibilities, some with socially distant face-to-face events and others with virtual events. On Tuesday, the former vice president will travel to Georgia, a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in more than a quarter of a century, but where polls show a highly contested career.
The final week of the campaign collides with deepening concerns about a public health crisis in the U.S. Trump eagerly wants voters to focus on almost everything else, worried he will lose if the election turns into a referendum on your handling of the pandemic. Biden works to ensure that the race is just that, attacking Trump with the virus and presenting himself as a safer and more stable alternative.
The stakes became clear this weekend when the White House became the site of a second outbreak of the virus in a month. Several close aides to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive, including Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short. However, Pence insisted on maintaining his aggressive political calendar despite being considered “close contact” with his adviser and invoked the privileges of being “essential employee”.
The latest outbreak has served as a powerful metaphor for the divergent approaches the Trump and Biden campaigns have taken to the virus. On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said “we are not going to control the pandemic” and that the focus must be on containment and treatment. Trump’s goal is to bring together thousands of people, most without covering their faces, in some of the upper Midwest states that bear most of the viral surge.
“We want normal life to resume,” Trump said Sunday. “We just want a normal life.”
Pressed to explain why the pandemic cannot be controlled, Mark Meadows replied, “Because it is a contagious virus like the flu.” On CNN’s “State of the Union” show, he said the government was focused on bringing effective therapies and vaccines to market.
Biden said in a statement that Meadows’ comments continued to wave the “white flag of defeat” for the Trump administration in the face of the virus.
Biden’s team argues that coronavirus is likely delete any other topic that may emerge in the final days of the campaign, including Biden’s own recent comment during the candidate debate that he stated that he would transition away from oil, then reconsidered as a transition away from federal subsidies. The strategy appears to be paying off, as the outbreak within Pence’s staff refocused the country’s conversation once again on the pandemic.
Trump and his team, meanwhile, struggle to establish a final message, with the undisciplined candidate relying more and more on their instincts above the advisers. The Republican has sought dirty rags from his Democratic rival and used apocalyptic terms to describe an eventual Biden presidency, but so far Biden has proven to be more resistant to those attacks than Trump’s 2016 rival.
“You can certainly expect (Biden) to focus on COVID as, unfortunately, keeps increasing across the country, “Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield observed in an interview.
“It’s disrupting people’s lives and people are looking for a leader who will put plans in place to get it under control.” With more than a third of the expected votes in the election already cast, it may be increasingly difficult for Trump and Biden to redefine the contours of the race. Biden beats Trump in most national polls and has an advantage, albeit a narrower one, on many decisive battlefields.
Biden also leans on a more money campaign than Trump and is using it for his electoral coverage on different stations with an advantage of almost 2 to 1 in the last two weeks. Biden’s incessant campaign ads display a mix of aspirational messages with sharp criticism on Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
It’s part of what Josh Schwerin, chief strategist for the Priorities USA Political Action Super Committee, says has helped Biden gain his advantage.
“Those double messages – continuing to contrast with Trump but also to deliver a message of positive aspiration, giving people a reason to vote for Biden and not just against Trump – is still the best way forward. And we’re seeing it work.” he points out.