Republican and Democratic Presidential Campaigns Heat Up Leading into Conventions

Jack Birle Staff Writer

Leading into the national party conventions, President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden appear to be headed towards a tightening Presidential race.  

On Aug. 11, Biden selected California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris became the third woman to be selected as a vice-presidential nominee by a major party ticket, following Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Harris is also the first Black and South Asian woman to run on a major party ticket. 

The next day, Biden introduced Harris as his running mate at an event in Wilmington, Delaware.

“One of the reasons I chose Kamala is because we both believe that we can define America simply in one word, possibilities,” Biden said.

Harris, in her first public address as Biden’s running mate, reassured Biden’s campaign message, while starkly contrasting the Trump campaign.

“[This election is] about building this country back better,” Harris said. “And that’s exactly what Joe and I will do.”

Harris has been viewed as a more liberal pick for vice-president. GovTrack rated Harris as “most liberal compared to all senators” in 2019.

The Biden campaign stated it had raised over $26 million in campaign contributions in the 24 hours following his running mate announcement.  

The day of the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, CNN published a poll which appeared to show Trump narrowing the gap between him and Biden. The poll showed Biden-Harris at 50% and Trump-Pence at 46%, with a margin of error of +/- 4%.

Polls published before this CNN poll appeared to show as much as a 10-point lead in favor of the Biden campaign. Trump trailed the Clinton-Kaine ticket in 2016 by a similar margin just before the conventions.

The Trump campaign looks to make Kamala Harris and her policy views an main issue of the campaign. Advertisements from the Trump campaign have already declared far-left politicians are running the Biden campaign. 

“The radical left has taken over Joe Biden and the Democratic Party,” a narrator in a recent Trump ad said. “Don’t let them take over America.”

The Biden campaign hopes to distance itself from extreme views with a theme of unity at the Democratic National Convention. The week after the DNC, Republicans hope to boost the Trump campaign in the polls during the Republican National Convention. 

Both parties will hold their conventions virtually, with the DNC having limited in-person events in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the RNC having limited in-person events in Charlotte, North Carolina.