Joe Biden’s campaign is set to relaunch in-person canvassing after not doing so since at least March because it was not considered safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Apparently the campaign is worried that President Donald Trump is gaining an advantage from months of in-person canvassing and has seen polls in swing states tightening, according to the AP.
The Trump campaign has been knocking on approximately one million doors per week since at least June, while Biden has limited his campaign to online and phone contacts only.
Biden campaign touts “innovative” virtual canvassing but still opts to add in-person effort
Still, Biden’s campaign insists that it’s current efforts are effective and that the in-person efforts are intended to reach voters that don’t answer the phone or respond to efforts online.
“Our voter contact operation is the most innovative and technologically advanced of any presidential campaign in history, and it has been thriving in this unprecedented environment,” Biden campaign manager Jenn O’Malley Dillon said.
“We’re now expanding on our strategy in a targeted way that puts the safety of communities first and foremost and helps us mobilize voters who are harder to reach by phone now that we’re in the final stretch — and now that Americans are fully dialed-in and ready to make their voices heard,” she added.
Several hundred campaign volunteers will begin canvassing efforts in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and New Hampshire before moving on to other states where Trump seems to be cutting Biden’s lead.
“Harder to get people on the phone”
“It’s just harder and harder to get people on the phone,” Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Biden volunteer Patrick Sullivan acknowledged. “So being able to go to someone’s door and talk to them makes a big difference.”
Biden had previously criticized Trump for doing in-person canvassing, saying it was putting campaign workers at risk for the coronavirus. Democratic National Committee spokesperson Lily Adams tweeted in August that the Trump campaign was “risking the lives of their staff, the lives of voters and risking becoming a super spreader organization during the middle of a pandemic,” the AP reported.
But it seems that he is no longer concerned about that eventuality, even as Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts caution that an uptick in coronavirus cases could be coming during the fall.
The volunteers will be subjected to coronavirus safety precautions like temperature checks and masks, and would text residents to expect a knock before they approach.
ABC News’s Martha Radditz noted after returning from a 6,000 mile road trip that enthusiasm for Biden was low according to her observations. Meanwhile, thousands pack Trump rallies on a week’s notice.
For Biden, will it be too little, too late?