(Headline USA) President Donald Trump plans to intensify an already breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign.
Trump is expected to hit nearly a dozen states in his match-up with scandal-ridden Democrat Joe Biden, including Sunday’s trip to Maine and Tuesday’s to Nebraska, basically expanding a competitive map. Both states award electoral votes by congressional district and could be crucial in a tight election. He will hold 11 rallies in the final 48 hours alone.
Meanwhile slow-goer Biden aims to address six battleground states the campaign sees as key to his chances, some with low-energy socially distanced in-person events and others with virtual events. Breitbart reported:
On Sunday, Biden’s campaign called a “lid” on in-person campaigning for the day. A “lid” usually also means the campaign will not conduct press conferences or dispense press releases the remainder of the day. Biden’s campaign clarified that this was not a “full lid” since the former vice president would speak to supporters late-Sunday evening at a virtual “I will vote” concert.
Biden’s campaign had no events scheduled for Monday either, according to Fox News.
On Tuesday the former vice president is traveling to Georgia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in more than a quarter-century.
Trump aims to pack thousands of people in events across some of the upper Midwestern states.
Biden’s team hopes the coronavirus is likely to blot out any other issues that might come up in the final days of the campaign — which they hope includes Biden’s recent debate-stage comment in which he affirmed he’d transition away from oil, later unconvincingly walked back as a transition away from federal subsidies.
“You can certainly expect that (Biden) will focus on COVID as it continues to, unfortunately, rise all across the country,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in an interview. “It’s disrupting people’s lives and people are looking for a leader to put in place plans to get it under control.”
With more than a third of the expected ballots in the election already cast, it may become increasingly challenging for Trump and Biden to reshape the contours of the race.
Biden is also sitting on more campaign cash than Trump and is putting it to use, blanketing airwaves with a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over the final two weeks. The incessant campaign ads from Biden feature a mix of his aspirational message with stinging critiques of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
Still, multiple Democrats described the “2016 PTSD” that’s keeping them up at night a week out from Election Day. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also enjoyed a lead in national and some state polls, and Democrats say their complacency then doomed their candidate. Now, with the pandemic and record numbers of mail and absentee ballots injecting a greater level of uncertainty into the election, Democrats are reluctant to let their guard down.
Biden’s campaign will focus in the final week on turning out what they’ve dubbed the “Biden coalition” — Black and Latino voters, as well as suburban, college-educated whites, women and older voters disaffected by Trump.
“What we see consistently is there aren’t a whole lot of undecided voters left, and at this stage of the race it’s really about turnout. It’s about educating voters to make sure they know how to vote, and it’s about making sure that that they turn out,” Bedingfield said.
Biden’s campaign has emphasized the need for Democrats to stay engaged even as the polls seem to favor their candidate. In a recent memo, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said that “in a number of critical states we are functionally tied,” and warned supporters that “every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire.”
Bedingfield says that’s a message the campaign will continue to push through Nov. 3.
“One thing that we have been very vocal about is that we do believe the race is tighter than a lot of the public polling would suggest,” she said. “We are constantly working to ensure that that people understand that there is an urgency here, and that we can’t get complacent.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.