A virtual Biden appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Joe Biden will help close out the Texas Democratic Party's all-virtual convention next week as one of the event’s major speakers.

Why it matters: The coronavirus is changing conventions as we know them. Given Texas' size, the event could serve as a test run of sorts for large-scale virtual events, as planners consider whether at least some aspects of the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in August should be virtual.

  • The Texas Democratic Party has been in contact with the Democratic National Convention throughout their planning process, a party official said, sharing best practices on how to host an online event of this size.

The state of play: To avoid any technical difficulties, speakers are pre-recording their videos for the convention, which will play throughout the nine-hour livestream on June 1.

  • Biden is expected to address the importance of turning Texas blue and Texas' status as a battleground state in his video.
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will also join as a featured speaker.

Be smart: Biden has said he thinks this longtime red state could be a battleground for Democrats this cycle — and his participation aims to boost fundraising.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is also participating in the convention, is one of the party’s best fundraisers.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting seven GOP-held House seats in Texas this cycle.
  • Pelosi has said Texas is a central part of Democrats' strategy to expand their House majority in 2021.

The big picture: Polls show a fight between Biden and President Trump in Texas, though Trump still leads in most recent polls.

  • The Texas Democratic Party says they’ve registered 2.6 million new voters since the 2016 election — a number they tout as “dropping the entire population of New Mexico into the Texas voter roll," Abhi Rahman, the state party's communications director, told Axios.

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Why it matters: As Trump leans into a law-and-order message to try to align Biden with street violence — and wrongly claims Biden is for defunding police — some Democrats worry a fear campaign could work with some battleground state swing voters.

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Why it matters: The endorsements rebut a theme of the Trump re-election campaign, which has falsely claimed that Biden wants to defund the police. Both candidates this week traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin to address the shooting of Jacob Blake. Biden called for officers involved to be charged while Trump cracked down on protests that had turned violent.

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Vice President Pence's former lead staffer on the White House coronavirus task force announced that she plans to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, while accusing President Trump of costing lives with his pandemic response.

Why it matters: Olivia Troye, who described herself as a life-long Republican, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

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