Washington – White House applicants are generally not ashamed to ask their followers for money.
But as the coronavirus changes daily life, floods hospitals, sinks financial markets, and leaves 3.3 million Americans unemployed, President Donald Trump and his likely Democratic rival, Joe Biden, suddenly find themselves navigating dangerous terrain.
What used to be a routine request for political money may now seem deaf or vulgar. The two are also at risk of competing for limited resources with charities trying to raise money to alleviate the pandemic. With a potential recession on the horizon, there is a question whether wealthy donors are in a good mood and whether grassroots supporters who contribute small amounts will continue to have the means to continue to do so.RELATED
That presents a delicate challenge as both candidates try to accumulate massive amounts of cash needed for the campaign in this election year.
“It’s hard to have a conversation with someone right now to ask how they’re doing and then ask them for financial support,” said Greg Goddard, a fundraiser who worked for Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign before the Democratic senator from Minnesota left the contest.
For Tim Lim, a Democratic consultant who worked for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, “It is a world where no one has the right answer.”
The task is particularly complex for Biden, who tries to stay on an electoral campaign practically frozen by the virus.
The former vice president lacks the cash reserves that Trump has, accumulated in the last three years of his presidency. Biden has not achieved his party’s nomination and will not be able to do so until the primary elections are held, which were postponed for the next few months due to the coronavirus emergency.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, his only rival in 2020, has shown no sign of backing down.