Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A stark difference between the Trump and Biden campaigns is Trump-Pence's aggressive continuation of traditional door-knocking amid the pandemic, while Joe Biden emphasizes virtual techniques. And President Trump travels more.

The state of play: Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien is now quantifying the difference, arguing in a new memo that candidate travel and the campaign's ground game give the president an advantage at a time when the airwaves are saturated.

From September 8–15, President Trump, Vice President Pence and the First Family made 38 political trips to 13 states. ... Using data analysis and broadcast monitoring performed with Cision software, the value of President Trump’s travel activity is quantifiable. ...
[T]he President's "Make American Great Again" events in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8 and Freeland, Michigan on September 10 created calculated earned media values of $2.0 and $3.3 million (respectively), whereas September 13th's "Latinas for Trump" roundtable in Las Vegas earned a value of $5.1 million. ...
President Trump’s travel earned $40.1 million in calculated broadcast value over the seven day period alone — a figure that does not include the travel of Vice President Pence or the First Family. ...
Over the same seven day period, the President’s volunteer field team knocked on 1.47 million doors and made 4.04 million phone calls. ... [T]he monetary value of the Trump campaign’s grassroots efforts was $8.4 million this week alone.

The big picture: The approaches reflect the candidates' deliberate optical contrasts in their response to the virus. Trump holds packed rallies, while Biden sports a mask at events where taped circles separate attendees.

When I asked the Biden campaign about the difference in philosophies, national press secretary TJ Ducklo replied:

  • "[W]e are having thousands of meaningful conversations with voters in battleground states everyday while prioritizing public health and the safety of our supporters."

Read Stepien's full memo.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump-Biden venom on display during final debate

Photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden twice referred to President Trump as "this guy," and Trump called the former vice president's family "like a vacuum cleaner" for foreign money.

Why it matters: The personal venom — during Thursday's final presidential debate, in Nashville — was a reminder that even during a more normal debate, nothing this year is normal.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden on Trump's "socialist" attack: "He thinks he's running against somebody else"

"He's a very confused guy," Joe Biden said during the final presidential debate on Thursday after President Trump cited Sen. Bernie Sanders' attempt to make single-payer health care work in Vermont. "He thinks he's running against somebody else"

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has sought to paint Biden as an empty vessel for radical socialism, despite the former vice president's more moderate positions compared to candidates he ran against in the Democratic primary. Biden said the public health insurance option in his plan is not an example of socialized medicine, but is meant to ensure that Americans "have the right to have affordable health care."