A stark difference between the Trump and Biden campaigns is Trump-Pence’s aggressive continuation of traditional door-knocking amid the pandemic, while Joe Biden emphasizes virtual techniques. And President Trump travels more.
The state of play: Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien is now quantifying the difference, arguing in a new memo that candidate travel and the campaign’s ground game give the president an advantage at a time when the airwaves are saturated.
From September 8–15, President Trump, Vice President Pence and the First Family made 38 political trips to 13 states. … Using data analysis and broadcast monitoring performed with Cision software, the value of President Trump’s travel activity is quantifiable. …
[T]he President’s “Make American Great Again” events in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8 and Freeland, Michigan on September 10 created calculated earned media values of $2.0 and $3.3 million (respectively), whereas September 13th’s “Latinas for Trump” roundtable in Las Vegas earned a value of $5.1 million. …
President Trump’s travel earned $40.1 million in calculated broadcast value over the seven day period alone — a figure that does not include the travel of Vice President Pence or the First Family. …
Over the same seven day period, the President’s volunteer field team knocked on 1.47 million doors and made 4.04 million phone calls. … [T]he monetary value of the Trump campaign’s grassroots efforts was $8.4 million this week alone.
The big picture: The approaches reflect the candidates’ deliberate optical contrasts in their response to the virus. Trump holds packed rallies, while Biden sports a mask at events where taped circles separate attendees.
When I asked the Biden campaign about the difference in philosophies, national press secretary TJ Ducklo replied:
- “[W]e are having thousands of meaningful conversations with voters in battleground states everyday while prioritizing public health and the safety of our supporters.”