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Presidential campaigns adapt amid coronavirus pandemic

Presidential campaigns are moving operations completely online and leaning on phone banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MAINE, Maine — In 2020, political campaigning has gone virtual.

We're not expected to see packed presidential rallies any time soon, and door-knocking is not advised in the times of social distancing, so the Trump and Biden campaigns have taken operations online.  

The Trump campaign is conducting virtual volunteer training in Maine. It's teaching volunteers how to connect to voters during this time of COVID-19.

Republican National Committee spokesperson Nina McLaughlin says, "We're teaching people how they can do social media activism or how they can do phone calls from home." 

McLaughlin says, while it won't replace the intimacy of a door knock, people have been receptive to the new methods.

"When we are calling people for voter contact, a lot of people are impressed that we're still reaching out to them to talk about President Trump and his accomplishments."

The same can be said for Democratic voters.

Maine Dems Chair Kathleen Marra says—in fact— with everyone at home right now, people are easier to get ahold of than ever before.

"They're answering their phones now and they're talking to us. Although it does not quite equate to face to face contact, it's pretty significant," Marra says. 

Both parties will be leaning heavily on phone banks to connect with and inform voters. They're in agreement that it's a safe alternative during this public health crisis. 

Marra says, "We're listening to the CDC, we're listening to the governor. We certainly don't want anyone to get sick from campaigning."

McLaughlin says, "It's definitely not an ideal situation for anyone right now, but we're following CDC guidelines and we're still keeping everyone engaged." 

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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