2020 campaigns move online amid COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Republican and Democratic political parties in Nevada have moved their campaign efforts online during this pivotal election year, to ensure social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While campaigning usually includes some home visits and in-person events, the coronavirus is changing the political process.

“We were able to turn our ground game, that is a machine, into a completely virtual operation,” said Keith Schipper, Spokesperson for the Nevada GOP and Trump Victory.

Keith Schipper, Spokesperson for the Nevada GOP and Trump Victory

Schipper says the Nevada GOP has moved all campaign activities online, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Suddenly you’re told, you got to be quarantined, you got to stay home, you can’t be out hitting peoples’ doors, you can’t be doing these trainings in person,” Schipper said.

Zoom is used for those trainings, as well as for “MAGA Meet Ups.” Reaching out to voters is done through Trump Talk. Schipper says the call system existed before the coronavirus outbreak, but the party saw big numbers during their first virtual National Day of Action last month.

“Here in Nevada, we did nearly 100,000 voter contacts in a single day,” Schipper said.

Nevada Democrats are shifting to a digital model, too. That includes creating online volunteer boot camps, expanding their phone and text banks, and increasing their social media output.

“This is uncharted territory for us, but we will be prepared,” said William McCurdy II, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “We’re really just trying to meet everyone where they are, which is right there in front of their computer screens or right there in front of their phones.”

William McCurdy II, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party

Nevada Democrats have already done a virtual town hall and a virtual fireside chat. For events, they plan to use Zoom, Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

“We’re actually not going to leave any stone unturned, as it relates to shifting to an online model,” McCurdy II said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, both parties say this is a crucial time to get voters engaged.

“We cannot afford to allow this current situation to determine what’s going to happen with the next four years,” McCurdy II said.

Both parties say their virtual efforts are not just for the presidential election, but also for the Nevada primary election on June 9th. That has been changed to an all-mail ballot to keep everyone safe. CLICK HERE for more information.

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