May 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to test local virtual campaign events

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Joe Biden is testing a new way of campaigning amid the coronavirus crisis, kicking off "local" virtual events this week in an attempt to re-create traditional campaign stops.

Driving the news: Biden, his wife, Jill, and the campaign's top surrogates will be hosting various virtual events in key battleground states in the coming weeks, starting with Florida and Michigan, a Biden campaign aide tells Axios.

  • Biden will host a virtual roundtable with local African American leaders in Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon.
  • Later that evening, his campaign will have a virtual rally in Tampa — complete with all the bells and whistles you'd see in person.
  • Biden campaign field organizers and supporters have been digitally organizing for his Tampa rally, texting, emailing and calling area voters to virtually join the event. The campaign is also running digital ads in Tampa to promote it.
  • Jill Biden is holding three virtual events with Michigan voters on Wednesday, including a virtual meeting with the Michigan Democratic Black Caucus, a roundtable with local nurses, and a training session with organizers and volunteers around the state.

Why it matters: Biden is entering the general election phase of the campaign in two crucial battleground states, which polls show will likely be close in November — and whose voters can't be ignored even though the 2020 race has moved largely online.

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Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.