WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden have emerged from their presidential nominating conventions with each candidate believing he has a head of steam. Trump’s job approval ratings and standing in polls are perilously low for an incumbent, but Biden and other Democrats vividly remember 2016, when Trump made an against-all-odds October comeback and defeated Hillary Clinton.
Five key questions as the 2020 campaign moves toward the fall home stretch:
WHAT WILL A COVID-19 CAMPAIGN LOOK LIKE?
Expect a flurry of travel and speeches as the candidates spend the next nine weeks desperately trying to move the needle and win new votes against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
Trump is set to launch an aggressive travel schedule with multiple events a week, according to advisers. After an arena rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, early this summer drew a paltry crowd, his campaign has settled on a new format in the age of the coronavirus: packing smaller crowds into open-air airport hangars. The campaign has also been handing out masks at its events and, on Friday, told attendees they would be mandatory, per local regulations. He’s also planning a series of policy speeches and is expected to continue to use the powers of his office — including signing executive orders and issuing pardons — to help his prospects.
Biden is planning to ramp up travel to battleground states after Labor Day after spending most of the spring and summer at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, holding mostly virtual events, with only occasional travel to tightly controlled gatherings. Campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond said the former vice president will be active but emphasized that Biden's events still will follow public health guidelines. That means no indoor, crowded rallies and lots of mask-wearing. Expect plenty of roundtables, meet-and-greets and question-and-answer sessions. If there are larger gatherings, the drive-in watch party outside Biden’s nomination acceptance address could be the blueprint.
WHOSE VERSION OF THE OTHER CONVINCES MORE VOTERS?