Jun 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Campaigning during COVID-19

Illustration of a hand holding a megaphone with stars coming out.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Lawmakers running for reelection are restructuring campaigns around frequent virtual town halls — a stretch for many Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers who depend on staffers or grandchildren for their tech skills.

Why it matters: Virtual campaigning is replacing handshakes, hugs, baby-kissing and door-knocking, as voters quarantine and social distance. That can make it harder for challengers who lack built-in name recognition.

Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican in a tight race in Iowa: "We're doing Facebook Lives, tele-town halls, Instagrams — all of it."

  • "I told my team to look at any opportunity where we can get out there safely and engage. Unfortunately, we just don't know what that looks like yet."

Rep. Diaz-Balart of Florida: "Among Hispanics, you know, you kiss and hug everybody. In my community, the secret of doing well is the fact that they know you and you know them."

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