WASHINGTON | Meetings, door-to-door among voters, the conventions: The pandemic of COVID-19 has transformed the us presidential campaign, forcing Donald Trump and Joe Biden to rethink their strategies by trial and error in this historic crisis, before an election the result of which could take days to be known.
Forget the breathless rhythm of a presidential common in the United States. The pandemic has put a sudden stop to the campaign in march, and now that it is resumed, timidly, all wondering what it will look like the next few months until the election on 3 November, the country’s most grief-stricken of the world by the coronavirus.
Biden without meetings
By explaining that it followed the ” advice of doctor “, the democratic candidate for the White House, 77 years, announced Tuesday that he would not be organizing meetings for this “strange” campaign.
Joe Biden could go back on this decision if the situation improves. But given the new flare-ups of cases of COVID-19, the paralysis may be prolonged.
After having remained confined to his home for two months, it has resumed in June of the voice, with small events, public that he intends to keep.
Always wearing a mask in public, the former vice-president Barack Obama is trying to show the officer in charge, a word that hammers his team. And to mark the difference with Donald Trump.
“We will continue to use all available tools to highlight the clear contrast in response between the slow and chaotic Donald Trump to the COVID-19 “, and the management that would make Joe Biden of the crisis, explained to AFP a spokesman for his campaign, Michael Gwin.
But this choice is risky. Depriving the candidate of a privileged platform, it is also likely to give ammunition to the team Trump who tries to present an old man, almost senile, and avoiding the show.
Never as comfortable as on the stands in front of his crowds of enthusiastic supporters, the billionaire republican was in a hurry to resume the meetings.
But his return was announced in marching bands in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 20 June, has turned into a fiasco, even as the republican, 74 years old, is struggling in the polls behind Joe Biden.
And his campaign team acknowledged Tuesday that it had not of next meeting to announce that, for the moment.
The impact of the meetings on the choice of the voters “is not sufficient to exceed that of the economic situation, concern for the public health or unemployment,” nuance, however, John Brehm, a political science professor at the university of Chicago.
Great mass of us military campaigns, the conventions bring together traditionally thousands of people with, as a culmination, the official nomination of the candidate of the party.
Also there is a panorama unrecognizable that will be Joe Biden at the democratic convention, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (17-20 August).
Although he promised to accept his nomination in person, the event will be almost entirely depopulated, followed at a distance, online.
The american president has pushed his party to change the venue of the grand show of his convention, because he was unhappy with the level of restrictions required by the authorities, democrats in North Carolina.
It will take place eventually for the most part in Florida, Jacksonville (25-27 August).
Ironically, the city has made Monday the port of the mask required to cause a flare-up of cases of COVID-19. In these conditions, supporters will gather so many that hope the republican candidate?
The land, deserted?
Confined for long months and now kept at a distance from safety, the volunteers are not able to, or almost, to do door-to-door.
Gold “this is where the democratic party has traditionally been its strength,” notes John Brehm.
While he is running for a second term since his arrival at the White House in January 2017, Donald Trump has a serious head start, in terms of finance and presence on social networks.
Not only through his famous tweets, but also thanks to the tools developed by his team to be able to target ultraprécisément voters.
The democrats themselves try to make up for the delay by organising online.
With the pandemic, millions of Americans will probably opt to vote by correspondence.
He had to wait a week to know, Tuesday, the result of a primary in the senate carried out in the small Kentucky.
What to expect when a poll organized through this country of 330 million people, already known for its long queues and counts in laborious?
Some fear to face several days of waiting before we know whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump will come to the White House in January 2021.