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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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Go deeper

Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Electoral College affirms Biden's victory

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Biden officially received the majority of Electoral College votes on Monday, further solidifying his victory even though the outcome of the election has been known for weeks.

Why it matters: The Electoral College result affirms Biden as the next president after weeks of President Trump's false accusations that the election was stolen from him, dozens of failed legal challenges from the Trump campaign, and protests threatening the safety of states' electors.

Trump says Attorney General Bill Barr is resigning

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr will resign from his post before Christmas, moments after the Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

Why it matters: Tensions between Trump and Barr had already been running high, and revelations in the Wall Street Journal that Barr had worked "for months" during the campaign to conceal a federal investigation of Hunter Biden further enraged the president.

Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The Republicans who acknowledged Biden's win after the Electoral College vote

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the latest Republican to accept Joe Biden as president-elect after the Electoral College affirmed his election victory on Monday.

Why it matters: Many GOP lawmakers have for weeks refused to accept Biden's win, highlighting President Trump's influence over the party, even as his efforts to overthrow the election based on false allegations of widespread voter fraud proved unsuccessful.