The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden takes new tack to reach voters during outbreak

The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden takes new tack to reach voters during outbreak
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Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY: 

Former Vice President Biden's campaigning is reaching out to voters as their lives are likely being turned upside down by the coronavirus outbreak. Biden, who is working out of his Delaware home these days, took part in a virtual press conference and a virtual happy hour. Additionally, Biden rolled out the inaugural edition of a newsletter, in which he announced an upcoming podcast. 

Biden is trying to present a more personalized view of himself as many voters deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The former vice president's newsletter engages readers with a question and answer section, as well as his own reading list. The newsletter also includes a section titled "Note from the Doc," which features medical advice from a member of his public health advisory board. 

The former vice president, who has been giving interviews and statements on the coronavirus pandemic, hosted a more lighthearted event on Wednesday evening in the form of a happy hour.

 

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The strategy is an attempt for the Biden campaign to counterprogram Trump, who has the benefit of delivering daily press conferences from the White House on the coronavirus outbreak alongside noted experts like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx. Biden has praised the experts, like Fauci, in recent days, but has criticized Trump's response to the crisis. 

However, there is the question of whether this strategy will work. Biden is walking a fine line of counterprogramming Trump, while calling for national unity. We'll likely get more of an answer in the weeks to come as we hear more from Biden. 

--Julia Manchester 

 

READ MORE: 

Biden campaign rolls out newsletter and announces podcast, by Julia

Biden releases plan to boost economy amid coronavirus pandemic, by The Hill's Tal Axelrod 

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, is expanding an ad buy accusing Trump of mismanaging the coronavirus crisis a day after the Trump campaign threatened legal action against TV stations airing the ad in key battleground states.

Priorities USA originally put $6 million behind the ad, which is running in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. On Thursday, the super PAC announced the ad would begin running in Arizona with an additional $600,000 investment behind it.

Fact-checkers have said it is wrong to claim that Trump ever called the coronavirus a "hoax," as the ad implies, and Trump's legal counsel sent a letter to television stations airing the ad demanding they "cease and desist" from airing the ad if they want to "avoid costly and time consuming litigation." Jonathan Easley reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES: 

Allan Lichtman: Donald Trump plays his blame game

Albert Hunt: Big stimulus packages required, but they risk political blowback

Joseph Bosco: Donald Trump as Winston Churchill?

Emil Henry Jr: Will coronavirus launch the second wave of socialism?

 

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FROM CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday voted to delay the state's April 28 primary election by five weeks to June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Marina Pitofsky reports. Meanwhile, the Maryland Board of Elections is considering eliminating in-person primary voting over concerns about the coronavirus. Justine Coleman reports.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

April 4:

Alaska Democratic primary (vote-by-mail)

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Hawaii Democratic primary (vote-by-mail)

 

April 7:

Wisconsin Democratic primary

 

April 17:

Wyoming Democratic caucuses (vote-by-mail)

 

April 26:

Puerto Rico Democratic primary

 

April 28:

New York primaries

 

ONE HOPEFUL THING:

FAUCI'S MEDIA BLITZ: Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the most popular face on President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE's coronavirus task force, with Americans applauding him for his calming, yet no-nonsense approach to tackling the pandemic. 

Donuts Delite, a bakery in Rochester, N.Y., bakery even put Fauci's face on their cupcakes this week.

 

 

Part of the reason why Fauci is so popular is because he's used a number of different and sometimes unexpected platforms to reach the American people. The 79-year-old has appeared on the traditional cable news networks to get his message across, as well podcasts like Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" last week. On Thursday, he joined basketball star Stephen Curry for a live Instagram Q & A. Former President Obama even made an appearance during the session.

 

 

For more good news be sure to check out The Hill's Selfless Action page, where our reporters are detailing how Americans are helping each other through the coronavirus pandemic.