But the circumstances of this campaign — a pandemic and an economic collapse costing millions of jobs and making even the still-employed feel vulnerable — have pushed the race in the direction of Biden’s strong suits and against his deficits, shining a bright light on his empathy and sober experience and casting his flaws into the shadows.

He has emerged with more Americans viewing him favorably now than at this time last year, the opposite of the usual trajectory of a campaign and far different from the circumstances that faced Hillary Clinton in 2016. He holds a national lead approaching double digits and narrower but stable leads in many battleground states. He enters the final stretch with far more money to spend than Trump as he reaches for the pinnacle of a political career, one that has eluded him twice before…

He has tried to exude hope and optimism despite the raw and painful circumstances enveloping the country. He has clung to bipartisanship despite the country’s deep polarization, ignoring raised Democratic eyebrows when he tells his donors, as he did two weeks ago, “For those of you who are Republicans, I promise I’m not going to embarrass you.”