Since the Democratic National Convention is going fully virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic, the massive in-person electoral training sessions that were to have taken place in Milwaukee are now going online to help activists learn how to persuade swing voters and get out the vote.
The campaign is teaming up with Wisconsin's Democratic Party and the progressive group Arena to offer free virtual training to activists. Democrats had previously wanted to hold massive in-person electoral training at their national convention, reports Politico.
Democrats plan to launch a new website Thursday for the campaign training sessions, which will be called "Campaign Academy 2020" and will be held between Aug. 17-20. Organizers say they are looking to sign up 10,000 people to take part in 16 separate livestreamed events facilitated by Joe Biden's campaign aides. Digital organizing is expected to be one of the program's main themes.
The decision comes as rank-and-file members of the Democratic National Committee said earlier this summer that first-time delegates hadn't been engaged enough for the convention as plans changed to move away from the traditional large gathering.
“As Vice President Biden often says, we are in the battle for the soul of our nation,” Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said in a statement. “To win that battle, we need the strongest grassroots army the Democrats have ever seen.”
Biden's campaign is now heavily involved in virtual organizing, but President Donald Trump's campaign returned to the field in June, notes Politico.
Trump's field program has been out in several states for months, but Biden's campaign did not hire senior aides in some swing states like Pennsylvania until July.
The Democratic National Convention Committee said Wednesday that Biden will not accept his nomination in Milwaukee because of health concern risks for the community. There also will not be speakers heading to the city, as the convention is now to be fully virtual.
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