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Joe Biden is Running an Invisible Digital Campaign in All-Important Michigan. That's Making Some Democrats Nervous
By Charlotte Alter/Sterling Heights, Mich.
September 15, 2020 5:28 PM EDT
Four years ago, Don Sabbe made what he calls a “devastating” mistake. Determined only to cast a vote for a candidate he believed in, he left the top of his ballot blank in the 2016 presidential election. This year, the 83-year old former Chrysler employee says he’ll definitely vote for Joe Biden, but he’s getting concerned about Biden’s campaign here in Michigan.
“I can’t even find a sign,” Sabbe says outside a Kroger’s in Sterling Heights, where surrounding cars fly massive Donald Trump flags that say “No More Bullsh-t” and fellow shoppers wear Trump T-shirts for their weekend grocery runs. “I’m looking for one of those storefronts. I’m looking for a campaign office for Biden. And I’m not finding one.”
The reason Sabbe can’t find a dedicated Biden campaign field office is because there aren’t any around here. Not in Macomb County, the swing region where Sabbe lives. It’s not even clear Biden has opened any new dedicated field offices in the state; because of the pandemic, they’ve moved their field organizing effort online. The Biden campaign in Michigan refused to confirm the location of any physical field offices despite repeated requests; they say they have “supply centers” for handing out signs, but would not confirm those locations. The campaign also declined to say how many of their Michigan staff were physically located here. Biden’s field operation in this all-important state is being run through the Michigan Democratic Party’s One Campaign, which is also not doing physical canvassing or events at the moment. When I ask Biden campaign staffers and Democratic Party officials how many people they have on the ground in Michigan, one reply stuck out: “What do you mean by ‘on the ground?'”