ATLANTA — Jill Biden is returning to Georgia on Thursday — virtually, that is.
The wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee will hold a virtual coffee with medical workers in Albany — the epicenter of Georgia’s worst coronavirus outbreak — followed by a listening session with Atlanta teachers and a campaign event. It’s part of the Democrat’s effort to keep up a traditional campaign at a time when many in-person events are impossible.
And the visits were announced days after Biden’s campaign publicly announced that Georgia, Arizona and Texas were among its top 2020 targets. Democrats are racing to flip Georgia in a presidential contest for the first time since Bill Clinton carried the state in 1992.
President Donald Trump’s campaign has scrambled to fortify the state, which he won by 5 percentage points in 2016.
A string of Republican internal polls obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month shows a close contest between Biden and Trump in Georgia, echoing national surveys that give the former vice president the advantage.
Still, some of Biden’s supporters have raised concerns that he hasn’t been aggressive enough to counter Trump’s message during a pandemic that’s turned the general election campaign upside down.
Jill Biden has campaigned several times previously in Georgia, including a prepandemic fundraiser in Sandy Springs that attracted more than 100 prominent donors. Her husband has also logged several campaign appearances in Georgia, most recently during last year’s Democratic debate in Atlanta.
Jill Biden has become one of the campaign’s top surrogates, with a spate of recent virtual visits to the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona from the couple’s Delaware home. She also plans a three-stop online tour of Colorado on Tuesday.
The campaign’s focus on Albany is notable. The rural area, long a Democratic stronghold, was devastated by a coronavirus outbreak that originated with a funeral service. While that meeting is for attendees only, Biden’s 6 p.m. “virtual organizing event” is open to the public.