Should the US fight coronavirus with the ‘herd immunity strategy’?
Former WSJ editorial board member Stephen Moore discusses how the coronavirus is impacting the global economy and life.
No more rallies. No more door-knocking. And no more in-person fundraisers, raking in dollars from dozens of millionaires at once.
Continue Reading Below
The coronavirus has disrupted American life, and the 2020 presidential campaign is no exception. Amid calls for social distancing to stop the pandemic’s spread, President Donald Trump and Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have had little choice but to call off large-scale public events in favor of politicking online and over the airwaves.
Gone are the rope lines, selfies with supporters and entourages of traveling press. They're being replaced — for now — with tools of the digital world: tele-town halls, virtual fundraisers and livestreamed speeches from candidates’ homes, sometimes with awkward results.
The abrupt shift has infused the contest with an added degree of uncertainty.
With control of the White House at stake, candidates have been forced to ditch well-honed strategies in favor of untested tactics. There are doubts about whether they will be able to continue raising crucial cash as unemployment soars and the economy sputters. There are also concerns that a virtual campaign could foster the spread of misinformation and maybe even force the cancellation of the major party conventions this summer.
BIDEN, SANDERS TACKLE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AT DEBATE: 'BIGGER THAN ANY ONE OF US':
“Nobody’s had to put together a general election strategy in the circumstances we face today,” Anita Dunn, Biden’s senior adviser, told The Associated Press. “I like to say every election is different. This election is really, really, really different.”
Digital advertising and online outreach were always going to play a major role in the election. But no one could anticipate that tactile politics would be completely put on hold.
Since events halted earlier this month, Sanders has held a virtual rally featuring rocker Neil Young and appeared via livestream for a “fireside chat.” But any momentum he’s sought to build has been sapped, as Biden, the former vice president, has won a string of contests that put the nomination within his grasp.