Former Vice President Joe Biden’s team is launching in-person canvassing in some battleground states starting early this week – after criticizing the Trump campaign for doing the same during the pandemic, The Hill reports.
The door-knocking will reportedly start this weekend with several hundred volunteers canvassing in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan and Nevada, and will eventually move to other states.
The volunteers will target voters who have been difficult to reach by phone and digital avenues.
“Our voter contact operation is the most innovative and technologically advanced of any presidential campaign in history, and it has been thriving in this unprecedented environment — especially in terms of the most important metric: meaningful conversations with voters,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.
“This has been critical in putting us on offense against Trump in many states he won in 2016. … We’re now expanding on our strategy in a targeted way that puts the safety of communities first and foremost and helps us mobilize voters who are harder to reach by phone now that we’re in the final stretch — and now that Americans are fully dialed-in and ready to make their voices heard,” O’Malley Dillon added.
The Biden campaign has opened 109 “supply centers” for volunteers in 17 battleground states.
The move comes as Democratic officials have become increasingly concerned as Biden’s lead against President Trump has begun to narrow in some swing states, and feared the campaign’s decision to remain largely virtual would hurt him and other Democrats, especially as the Republican team has said its volunteers knock on 1 million doors a week.
“It’s just harder and harder to get people on the phone,” said Patrick Sullivan, a Biden volunteer who lives in suburban Harrisburg, Pa., told The Associated Press. “So being able to go to someone’s door and talk to them makes a big difference.”