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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.