Joe Biden's presidential campaigners are so confident that the chances of US President Donald Trump to win a new election have diminished because of his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic carnage, which they strengthen staff from several states once considered unlikely to support the alleged Democratic candidate.
In a strategic briefing for journalists on Friday, Biden campaign manager Jen O & # 39; Malley Dillon said states like Arizona, Texas and Georgia may be at stake in the general election November 3.
"We believe there will be battlefield states that have never been battlefield states before," said O & # 39; Malley Dillon.
The campaign plans to hire 600 more field personnel by June for an "enlarged map" that adds the once solidly republican states of the solar belt to traditional battlefield states such as Michigan , Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. Hiring new employees is the latest push in Biden's campaign to counter criticism from some Democrats and progressive allies that the campaign is not progressing fast enough.
One of these critics, a former campaign manager for progressive champion Bernie Sanders, warned in a memo flight Friday, Biden faces a tough battle to win the youngest voters who supported the Vermont senator in elementary school before he gave up the race. A significant portion of these supporters, the former staff member of Sanders Jeff Weaver says, are "currently unsupported and unenthusiastic" about Biden's candidacy.
"There is a real and urgent need to help Biden consolidate the supporters of Sanders," wrote Weaver. "If the whole Sanders base turned out for Joe Biden in November, he could defeat Trump and take over the White House for the Democrats." Here's the problem: large portions are not currently planning. "
The Trump campaign is actively seeking ways to have his candidate appear before voters in person and has reportedly contacted officials in Florida about the possibility of planning one of the President's signature rallies in that state as soon as possible. Trump's last rally was in March, when the coronavirus pandemic started in the United States.
"He loves it, people also like being in his presence, so we hope we head to the rallies around November," said Lara Trump, the president's stepdaughter, in a recent press. call with reporters. "The president is happy to do it too, and I don't think it would look like a real campaign season without them."
"We hope to be able to get back on the road, but listen, if we have to move on to something like a virtual rally, we are considering this option. We have been really successful with all of our virtual events," Trump said.
Divided Democrats of America | Fault lines (25:46)
The incumbent enjoys huge benefits in the race, including a solid fundraiser and digital campaigns. Trump's own team has worked on plans similar to those announced by Biden on Friday to lobby in states such as Minnesota, where Democrats appear to have an advantage.
Biden, meanwhile, has been limited to campaigning from his home in Delaware, where he isolates because of the coronavirus. O & # 39; Malley Dillon said that the Biden campaign has no set timetable for returning to the regular campaign.
O & # 39; Malley Dillon and other Biden strategists said that the turbulence of Trump's presidency before the pandemic and voter familiarity with Biden give the former vice president a broad path to 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
They pointed to recent polls suggesting that Trump has a narrower advantage over Biden among older voters that Trump in 2016, and said that the disadvantage that Republicans had with commuter women in the middle of 2018 has widened. O & # 39; Malley Dillon said that demographic changes in states like Arizona offer an opportunity to Biden.
But she said the pandemic could change voting methods. "We know we will prioritize education and mobilization," said O & # 39; Malley Dillon, "but the enthusiasm is there."
Al Jazeera and news agencies