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Joe Biden attends a virtual town hall event with Oprah Winfrey at The Queen theater in Delaware. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's team is spending tens of millions of dollars on a national digital ad campaign in the final days before Election Day — but highlighting a plethora of voters from Pennsylvania in particular, underscoring how critically important the state is.

Why it matters: Biden's team is betting that COVID-19 is on the ballot, and amplifying the stories of those affected by the pandemic with an emphasis on persuading voters in key battlegrounds to support the former VP.

Driving the news: Through Friday, Biden's team will have three ads in rotation on the YouTube homepage masthead as a national component to their closing ad campaign.

  • In addition, they're trying to reach at least eight subsets of the electorate across 16 states: AZ, FL, MI, NC, PA, WI, MN, NV, CO, IA, GA, OH, NH, VA, TX, NE-2.
  • They're focusing on African American and Latino voters as well, but the ads over-index on voices from a handful of traditional battleground states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona.
  • The ads they've cut with PA voters alone feature frontline workers, small business owners, teachers, farmers, veterans, seniors, union workers and football players — a snapshot of the broader appeal they're trying to have in the final days.
  • His team hopes that by continuing to talk about the realities and hardships facing Americans, crucial slices of the electorate across 16 battleground states will put Biden over the edge next Tuesday.

The big picture: Biden's team has consistently pushed a message focused on the coronavirus pandemic and its implications on health care and the economy — even as President Trump tries to bring up Hunter Biden and other distractions.

  • And now COVID-19 cases are spiking across the U.S., putting a renewed emphasis on the pandemic in the final stretch of the election.

Snapshot: A college football player in Arizona talks in one ad about the struggles of missing out on practice during the pandemic.

  • In Florida, seniors who are concerned about catching the virus and keeping their business afloat talk about how life has changed for them.
  • A veteran from Iowa talks about his experience working directly with Biden in the past.
  • And in Michigan a union worker criticizes the way Trump talks about social security benefits.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Biden's Day 1 challenges: Systemic racism

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor (PA Images)/Getty Images

Advocates are pushing President-elect Biden to tackle systemic racism with a Day 1 agenda that includes ending the detention of migrant children and expanding DACA, announcing a Justice Department investigation of rogue police departments and returning some public lands to Indigenous tribes.

Why it matters: Biden has said the fight against systemic racism will be one of the top goals of his presidency — but the expectations may be so high that he won't be able to meet them.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.