It has been 20 years since a Democratic presidential candidate – then Vice President Al Gore in 2000 – won the senior vote.
But former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping to break his party’s losing streak.
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Fox News learned on Monday that the alleged Democratic presidential candidate was launching a new blitz this week to woo voters 65 and over in seven crucial states on the general election battlefield.
Biden’s campaign says they will spend more than $ 14.5 million to broadcast TV and digital spots in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states the president does Trump narrowly won four years ago, helping him upset 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary. Clinton to win the White House. And the Biden campaign says it is expanding ad buying in Nevada, where Clinton edged Trump four years ago.
The ads – shared first with Fox News – target the president for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which since February has claimed the lives of nearly 150,000 people in the United States New cases of the coronavirus have skyrocketed these two months, forcing many states to halt or reverse the easing of restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
The people most affected by the coronavirus are the elderly. “In adults, the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older people being the most at risk,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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In the new TV commercial, a resident of Greenfield, Wisconsin named Jessica shares a deeply personal story about the passing of her grandmother Susana Martinez, who died of COVID-19, on April 29.
“The last time I saw my grandmother we weren’t going to be admitted to the hospital. We asked if we could video chat her and everyone could say a little something. We got together as a family and prayed. But the fact that she’s alone, it breaks my heart, ”said a moving Jessica in the ad.
And she accuses that “the president made a huge mistake in downplaying this virus. There was a lack of leadership, a lack of accountability and a lack of resources. I was under the impression that our seniors were not a priority for this administration, that they did not matter. And I feel like my grandmother doesn’t matter.
The Biden campaign says the ad will target daytime TV shows that have a large following among older Americans. And they say a Spanish version of the ad will air in Arizona and Florida.
In an accompanying digital spot that the campaign says will run on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, the former vice president says “our seniors are hit hardest. Let’s start by taking care of aging parents and their loved ones, to make their homes safer, but above all to give them peace of mind, helping them to live independently. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity. Everyone. ”
The $ 14.5 million the Biden campaign says it is spending this week follows on from the $ 15 million it spent last week in an advertising blitz. Until last week, the Trump campaign had far outstripped Biden’s team in the television and digital general election advertising wars.
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The new ads follow a television ad aired last week by the Democratic National Committee that also targeted seniors on the coronavirus.
A poll by Fox News two weeks ago indicated that the pandemic was the single most important problem facing the country right now – and that, with a 51-34% margin, registered voters believed that Biden would do a better job than the president who is handling the outbreak.
The same poll indicated that virtually the two candidates were all related among seniors, with Trump at 47% and Biden at 46%.
A national ABC News / Washington Post poll conducted around the same time showed the Democratic challenger ahead of the outgoing GOP in the White House by 51-46% among voters 65 and over.
Both polls represent a change from the 2016 presidential election, when Trump beat Clinton 52 to 45 percent among seniors, according to exit polls.
The new advertising blitz continues the line of attack against the president by Biden, his campaign and the allied super PACs, who have repeatedly criticized Trump for what they claim to be an initial downplay of the severity of the pandemic, a trial and error of the federal response and a push to prematurely ease restrictions to revive an economy flattened by the epidemic.
Fending off criticism, the president, his administration and his months-long re-election campaign have repeatedly touted the federal government’s response to the crisis.
Trump recently recognized a difficult road to travel.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” the president said last Tuesday – as he returned to the White House press conference room to give his first coronavirus press conference since April . And putting aside his long-standing reluctance to wear a mask or urge Americans to mask themselves to prevent the spread of the virus, the president stressed, “whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact.”
Allie Raffa of Fox News contributed to this report.