This week, Joe Biden officially became the Democratic nominee for president in the first-ever virtual convention. While there were no crowds, handshakes, or applause to demonstrate excitement, the new format allowed for Americans across the country to participate.
Each night consisted of live and taped speeches where voters implored those watching to vote for Joe Biden. They spoke about President Trump's failure to address climate change, structural racism, gun violence, economic insecurity, and the coronavirus that has killed more than 170,000 Americans. A significant portion of the week was dedicated to bringing Republicans into the fold as many shared that they had voted for Trump in 2016 and came to regret doing so.
Headliners like Michelle and Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren stressed that the country is at an inflection point and that those in positions of power are working to dilute American votes.
Maya King from Politico, Astead Herndon from The New York Times, and Alex Roarty from McClatchy reflect on the historic convention and how it was received by those watching from home. Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, analyzes how President Trump spent his week.
Also, progressives are using a method called “deep canvassing” to engage with voters ahead of November’s general election. These are longer conversations that take place over the phone or in-person with the goal of changing someone’s beliefs by using personal stories and empathy to create a lasting connection. In the early 2000s, Steve Deline and Ella Barrett got involved with deep canvassing to understand why people had voted against same-sex marriage in California. They now run the New Conversation Initiative, a group that works with People's Action to teach deep canvassing to progressives.
This conversation is part of our continued look at the limits of campaigning during the pandemic and how activists and candidates are trying to connect in spite of restrictions.