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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."

Go deeper: Biden to test local virtual campaign events

Go deeper

A West Wing meltdown

President Trump takes ride outside Walter Reed, with Secret Service agents in the sealed Suburban. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

White House crises of competence and credibility grew during a botched weekend that left even White House aides dismayed and befuddled.

Many complained bitterly about the leadership of chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Oct 5, 2020 - Health

Campaign adviser defends Trump drive-by during coronavirus treatment

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller pushed back during a fiery exchange on CNN Sunday against anchor Ana Cabrera's suggestion that President Trump's drive-by visit to supporters outside Walter Reed hospital was for a "photo op."

Details: "I don't think this was a stunt at all," Miller said in response to Cabrera's suggestion that this was the reason Trump had left the hospital Sunday where he's being treated for COVID-19.

Oct 4, 2020 - Health

White House aide says physician withheld health specifics to lift Trump's spirits

White House communications director Alyssa Farah said Sunday that White House physician Sean Conley withheld specific details at Saturday's press briefing about Donald Trump's medical condition in order to "convey confidence" and "raise the spirits" of the president.

Driving the news: Conley and the White House have come under intense criticism after Chief of Staff Mark Meadows provided an anonymous statement to reporters on Saturday saying that Trump had a "very concerning" period on Friday, contradicting the more rosy assessment Conley had provided in a television briefing just moments earlier.

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