Lesson Plan: How will COVID-19 Impact Campaign Strategies in 2020?

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel on Adjusting Campaign Strategies after the Coronavirus Outbreak

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, talked about the 2020 presidential campaign during the coronavirus pandemic.


With the outbreak of COVID-19, candidates running for office and their teams have had to adjust how they campaign and reach out to voters. This lesson has students view videos clips of campaign advisers and party officials discussing how their campaigns are adjusting their strategies in response to public health concerns. Students will use these video clips to explain traditional campaign strategies, current challenges and how campaigns are adapting these strategies for the 2020 election. From this, students will develop a list of best practices for campaigns to use.



    Before beginning class, have having students brainstorm a list of ways that candidates and campaigns can convince people to vote for them.


    Review the list that students developed and address any misconceptions. To introduce campaign and voter outreach strategies that will be discussed in this lesson, have the students review each of the following terms/concepts. For each, have them develop/research a definition and explain how each term can be used to change people’s minds and get them to vote for a candidate.

    Students can use the handout linked below to complete all activities and access the video clips associated with this lesson.

    Handout: COVID-19 and Campaigns (Google Doc)

    Campaign and Voter Outreach Strategies-

    • Campaign Rallies

    • Recruiting Volunteers

    • Canvassing/”Knocking on Doors”

    • Phone Banking

    • Voter Education

    Using the handout, have students view each video clip. For each video clip, they should identify the challenges that campaigns face with COVID-19 and ways they are adapting their strategies.

    Handout: COVID-19 and Campaigns (Google Doc)


    Using the information from the video clips, have students develop a list of five best practices that a campaign could use to get people to vote for their candidate. For each provide the following information:

    • Describe the best practice.

    • How this strategy addresses the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The potential benefits and drawbacks of using this strategy.

    After completing their list of best practices, have the students answer the following question as an exit slip.

    • How will COVID-19 impact campaign strategies and voter outreach?

    Youth Voter Campaign Strategies- Develop a plan that a candidate could use to encourage younger voters to for them. Explain what types of outreach you would do and why that would convince younger voters.

    Evaluating Voter Outreach Strategies- Choose one of the strategies discussed in the lesson and discuss how effective you think it is at convincing voters. Explain why using examples from the video clips.

    Voter Education Research- Research how voting works in your state and community. Using your state and local governments’ websites, provide the following information about how voting works in your community.

    • What important dates relate to voting in your precinct? (e.g. registration deadlines, election day, etc.)

    • How are people able to vote? (e.g. absentee, in-person, etc.)

    • Who and what is on your ballot? (e.g. elected offices, candidates, ballot questions/referendum)

    • Why is it important to understand this information?

    • What do you think the best strategy is to change voters’ minds?

    • How might younger voters respond differently than older voters to some of these campaign strategies?

    • What is the most effective way of reaching younger voters?

Additional Resources


  • Battleground State
  • Canvasing
  • Coronavirus
  • Door Knocking
  • Field Office
  • Local Media
  • National Media
  • Rally
  • Registered Voter
  • Swing Voter
  • Volunteer
  • Voter Education


Campaigns & Elections


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