After months of avoiding direct contact with voters because of the pandemic, Joe Biden's campaign is about to launch door-to-door canvassing across several battleground states. Concern has been growing among Democratic officials in key states who fear that Biden has been giving a significant advantage to President Trump and his Republican allies, who have been aggressively courting voters at their doorsteps for months. The reversal also reflects a sense of rising urgency as polls tighten just a month before Election Day, the AP reports. Biden's campaign insists that its existing phone and online voter outreach is effective, and the new plans will build upon what's in place, not replace it. Biden this weekend will dispatch several hundred newly trained volunteers across Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. The effort, focusing on voters considered difficult to reach by phone, is expected to spread quickly into other battleground states.
Campaign officials and volunteers acknowledge their virtual-contact strategy had holes they're hoping to fill with in-person conversations. "It's just harder and harder to get people on the phone," said a Biden volunteer who lives in suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "So being able to go to someone's door and talk to them makes a big difference." Trump's campaign and allied Republican groups have been having in-person contacts with voters since at least June. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said over the summer that her team was knocking on roughly a million doors each week. Democratic officials have been extremely critical of the GOP's tactics. A spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee tweeted in August that the Trump campaign was "risking the lives of their staff, the lives of voters and risking becoming a super spreader organization during the middle of a pandemic."
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