Oct 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders to start campaigning for Biden in person

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the final Democratic primary debate in March. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is heading to New Hampshire on Saturday and Michigan on Monday to campaign for Joe Biden, his team confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first time Sanders will campaign in person since the coronavirus pandemic started, and sources tell Axios to expect more Democratic surrogates and former 2020 presidential candidates to hit the campaign trail for Biden in the coming weeks.

  • It also comes soon after President Trump and first lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19, effectively halting Trump's campaign for the time being while he quarantines.

Driving the news: Sanders will host outdoor rallies in both battleground states, ensuring attendees are socially distanced and following CDC guidelines.

  • Democrats narrowly won New Hampshire in 2016 and came within striking distance of winning Michigan, and these are two states that Biden's team has heavily targeted as of late.
  • Sanders endorsed Biden after he dropped out of the presidential race. Biden's campaign invited the senator to help lead Democrats' Unity Task Force.

The big picture: Trump and Republicans continue in their effort to paint Biden as a "radical" Democrat who shares Sanders' policy wish-list including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

  • While Biden has publicly distanced himself from that narrative, progressive Democrats continue to rally and organize for him — tabling their internal criticism for now in the hopes they can defeat Trump.

Go deeper: Progressives bide their time for a Biden victory

Go deeper