Biden’s low-key approach is highly unusual this close to an election, but it’s a testament to the extraordinary dynamics of the 2020 race, with a deadly pandemic reaching crisis levels in dozens of states. Democrats point to fresh polling that shows Trump’s rallies are a net negative for him in the nation’s core swing states, where concerns about the spread of coronavirus are strong.

Biden’s strategy is a sign of confidence and caution: The former vice president has stuck with his plan of running a slow-but-steady race premised on the idea that Trump steps all over himself when he’s out campaigning and best to keep making the election a referendum the president’s behavior. That, plus minimizing the threat of a Covid-19 infection.

“The biggest threat to Joe Biden is Covid. He can’t get it,” said Brad Coker, pollster for Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, whose last presidential survey showed Biden leading narrowly Trump in Florida. . “Aside from the health implications, if Biden got Covid it would blow up his candidacy and his whole narrative of being safe, social distancing, wearing a mask.”