2020 campaigns go digital amid fears of coronavirus spread

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders during Sunday night's debate. Amid calls for social distancing to stop the pandemic’s spread, Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican President Donald Trump, have had little choice but to call off large-scale public events in favor of politicking online and over the airwaves. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The coronavirus has disrupted American life, and the 2020 presidential campaign is no exception.

Amid calls for social distancing to stop the pandemic’s spread, Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican President Donald Trump, have had little choice but to call off large-scale public events in favor of politicking online and over the airwaves.

With control of the White House at stake, candidates have been forced to ditch well-honed strategies in favor of untested tactics.

Tools of the digital world, such as tele-town halls, virtual fundraisers and livestreamed speeches, are replacing the traditional campaign events.

The abrupt shift has infused the contest with an added degree of uncertainty.

The coronavirus is idling a potentially powerful force in the Democratic Party.

It’s those liberal canvassers who go door to door or cruise through public gatherings with clipboard in hand to register new voters.

Such efforts have been all but frozen because Americans are being asked to stay inside and keep their distance to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Arizona, Latino registrations drives have moved online. In Michigan, community organizers are trying to reach out remotely.

It’s a quiet change with potentially big consequences for Democrats up and down the ballot in the November general election.

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