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Joe Biden will begin rolling out his plan on Thursday to repair the U.S. economy as he seeks to improve his standing with voters on one of the few issues where he lags President Donald Trump.

Biden will frame the economic argument for the remainder of his campaign with a speech near his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a place that’s been synonymous with the blue-collar workers who helped Trump win the state in 2016. He will unveil policies intended to foster manufacturing and encourage innovation, adopting some ideas from his progressive primary rivals but avoiding the big-ticket proposals like the Green New Deal.

The former vice president’s plan is divided into four areas, the first of which he’ll address in more detail on Thursday: a push to buy American and create manufacturing jobs, costing at least $700 billion; building infrastructure and clean energy, advancing racial equity; and modernizing the “caring” economy such as child-care and elder-care workers and domestic aides. His campaign said he will follow Thursday’s speech with detailed policy proposals before the Democratic National Convention, which begins Aug. 17.

On Thursday, he’ll unveil plans for $400 billion in additional federal government purchases of products made by American workers over his first term — based on a proposal that Senator Elizabeth Warren, a former opponent, offered during the primaries — as well as $300 billion for federally funded research and development. In all, the Biden campaign estimates that its proposals on manufacturing and buying American will create 5 million jobs. It did not offer a plan for how to pay for those measures.

With Americans enduring a recession because of the coronavirus pandemic, Biden is homing in on the economy, the only policy area where a slim majority of voters favor Trump’s approach. In a recent New York Times-Siena College poll of registered voters in six critical electoral states, 55% preferred Trump on the economy while 39% preferred Biden.

Now the Democratic nominee, Biden has shifted to a general-election footing where he also needs to attract Republicans weary of the Trump administration and independents to win in November.

There was small progress toward recovery in the jobs numbers released Thursday. Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined last week by more than projected, easing concerns of a renewed downturn in the labor market after several large states reported an increase in coronavirus cases.

‘Matched to the moment’

“I think there is going to be a broad-based view not just among Democrats but among independents and even some Republicans that this plan and its substance is matched to the moment,” said Jake Sullivan, a top policy aide to Biden. “It is focused on trying to drive job creation fast so that we don’t have scarring, so that we don’t have people unemployed long term, so that we don’t have businesses dying.”

Aware that any positions Biden takes are parsed for outreach to the left, advisers argued he gets to truly progressive results, just at his own pace.

“Biden wants to get to the same place that many to his left want to get to but he firmly believes that it will take an incremental path to get there and that you can’t leapfrog the political reality that he has come to know in many decades in politics,” said Jared Bernstein, who is advising the campaign after serving as Biden’s chief economic adviser in the vice president’s office.

“So his destination on many key issues, particularly on the economy and health care, is very similar to the further left but his path to get there is going to be more incremental,” Bernstein added.

The plan for the U.S. government to buy American-made products would cost $100 billion a year over four years, and would purchase things like clean vehicles and clean energy; materials to prepare for future public health crises such as ventilators and masks; materials for infrastructure projects such as steel, concrete and equipment; and telecommunications. Warren had proposed a $150 billion a year for a decade to be spent on procurement of clean energy.

Biden would also work with other countries to renegotiate the Government Procurement Agreement at the World Trade Organization to ensure the U.S. and its allies can spend taxpayer dollars on growing investment in their own countries.

On trade, a senior Biden adviser, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity said the candidate would also study current tariffs as well as potential trade agreements he wants to negotiate. His advisers declined to comment directly on what would happen to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump abandoned in 2017, or existing tariffs under a Biden administration.

Trump has made buy-American policies and protecting the U.S. steel and aluminum industry a centerpiece of his administration but some domestic manufacturers have complained his actions didn’t go far enough.

The $300 billion R&D plan would encompass all 50 states and would increase direct federal programs such as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a health innovation entity that Biden had previously proposed. He would also direct money to support innovative small businesses and workforce development programs.

Each idea may seem small but “the beauty of these plans is in the totality” of everything that Biden will be proposing on the economy in the coming weeks, Bernstein said.

Biden’s advisers said the plan, once fully revealed, would be ambitious.

“This will be the largest mobilization of public investments in procurement, infrastructure and R&D since World War II — and that’s just a part of the plan,” Sullivan said.

The senior Biden official said the campaign wasn’t ready to detail where the money for these programs would come from. Recurring programs would be financed with additional tax proposals but some measures might need to be treated as stimulus to help the economy recover and would be dependent upon economic conditions when Biden takes office, the official said.

No New Deal-style plans

Most of the more progressive ideas, like the Green New Deal and other large jobs programs that also hearken back to Franklin Roosevelt’s policies in the Great Depression, would likely be left behind at the beginning in favor of a more step-by-step approach, the Biden campaign says.

Steph Sterling, vice president for advocacy and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, and others on the left say they would like to see Biden contemplate a jobs guarantee or other measures that would be more in the vein of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

A Biden adviser said such policies are not being seriously considered, though the candidate has proposed creating a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that would employ 100,000 people.

Biden offered some parameters in April.

“Look at the institutional changes we can make without us becoming a socialist country or any of that malarkey that we can make to provide the opportunities to change the institutional drawbacks.”

If Biden wins the presidency, he will be walking into a far different economy than he would have faced before the pandemic.

“If Biden is president he will be up against this just incredibly, incredibly weak economy,” said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, and a chief economist at the U.S. Labor Department in the Obama administration. “Regardless of what’s going on with COVID, whether there’s a vaccine or widespread mask-wearing or not, it will be a hugely depressed economy.”

Even with improvement in jobs and consumer spending that’s been better than analysts expected, the U.S. economy remains in a deep hole, and most forecasters expect only a gradual recovery. Unemployment, at 11.1% in June, is higher than any time in the 80 years before the pandemic. Black and Latino unemployment rates are even higher.

Since mid-June, economic gains have slowed as virus cases accelerated in a variety of states, leading local officials to pause or reverse re-openings. And if lawmakers allow the expiration of extra unemployment benefits and small-business aid in coming weeks, jobs and consumption could take a further hit.

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In the days following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer and the nationwide protests that ensued, Voto Latino, an organization that encourages young Latinx voters to become more politically involved, saw a more than 2,750% jump in its voter registration numbers. 

Between June 1 and 10, the organization signed up 63,158 new voters. During the first 10 days in May, the group had registered just 2,294 people. 

“Our job at Voto Latino is talking to the individuals that have been protesting on the streets for the past weeks because those are the young people that are going to be the largest generation of our life,” Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar told Fortune. “We’ve never seen a generation so large. It’s 12 million potential more voters than baby boomers, and we have to recognize that the system hasn’t been feeding them and addressing their core issues.”

The organization has always been online, which has aided in its success during times when in-person voter registration drives are largely impossible. “We started as digital natives, and we are in the most intimate spaces that these young people are in. We’re on their phones through their Instagrams and social platforms. We’ve been experimenting on TikTok and Tinder and getting the word out, and they’re reciprocating by signing up,” Kumar said. 

She pointed to a project done in conjunction with Google where Voto Latino showed 200,000 YouTube viewers a 13-second pre-roll advertisement telling them to register to vote followed by another six-second video at the end of the clip. The people who saw the treatment were nine times as likely to search for words that involved voter registration, and about 10,000 of them actually registered to vote. 

“What that tells us is that nobody is targeting the Latino community, but when we break it down, it’s easy to, and they’re receptive,” she said. “They want to participate, but most people don’t reach out to young voters, because there’s still this idea that they don’t vote. In the Latino community we’re carrying the water for our families. We’re not only receptive, we’re responsible for the information that we give to our elders, so you want to make sure that we’re doing something impactful.”

Voto Latino currently reaches about 8.5 million people each month using social media and uses the platform to educate its community about voting issues. The organization has also cultivated a community of activists who have started to run for office. Gregorio Casar, the youngest city councilman in Austin’s history, was trained by Voto Latino, as was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “They did these trainings and realized they could be active voters and be in office,” said Kumar. 

The organization’s digital footprint has been felt most in Texas. As voter registration in the state flatlined owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Voto Latino has managed to add 53,093 new names to the rolls this month alone. Harris County, which encompasses Houston and is the most populated county in the state of Texas, recorded just 1,451 new voters between March 15th and May 15th of this year. Voto Latino says they they’ve signed up 9,106 new voters in the county in June alone. 

“There’s 2.5 million unregistered Latino youth in Texas who are out on the street with grievances that stretch far and wide,” said Kumar. “It’s Pollyannaish to assume that this isn’t going to be one of the most challenging elections to convince people that we have to change, but COVID has also touched every corner of American life and exposed our social inequities where I do believe that people are ready for change.”

Texas, which in recent years has gone from ruby red to purple in its voting, will be a hotly contested state in the November elections. President Donald Trump visited this week to hold a campaign dinner, and Joe Biden was there earlier in the week to meet with the family of George Floyd.

“It’s crucial to register young Latinos and get them to turn out,” said 2020 presidential candidate and Voto Latino senior adviser Julián Castro. “I think first and foremost this is crucial to improving the economic outcomes and life of people in the state…And the impact, I believe, is that when those registered young Latinos make their choices at the ballot box, that the state is going to turn blue. It’s going to transition over the years.” 

Trump is currently polling ahead of Biden in Texas by just 1.5 points. He won the state by nine points in 2016.

“The majority of Democrats, if they’re registered to vote, they’re going to go out, and they’re going to vote,” said Kumar. Voto Latino officially backed Biden for President this year—the first time they’ve endorsed a political candidate. 

“When we endorsed Joe Biden it wasn’t easy, because we had a lot of come-to-Jesus moments even internally at our office because so many people were concerned,” she said. “But…our job is to bring the community along because the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Latino community.” 

Kumar pointed to a new office created by Trump’s Department of Justice to denaturalize immigrants in the U.S. “That’s obscene,” she said. “One out of 10 voters that are going to be able to cast a ballot in November are naturalized citizens. I’m a naturalized citizen. Our job is to say, ‘We know how the system works. We need your participation. Ask us any question as raw as it is, and we will try to provide you guidance, because what we need right now is for you to show up in November for yourself and for your family.’” 

Voto Latino, meanwhile, is fighting a narrative that younger voters, who tend to vote blue, aren’t excited about Joe Biden’s candidacy and may not come out to the polls this November.

“Oftentimes they say that the system is rigged. I’d say, ‘No—the system works just as it should for the people who occupy it.’ Our job is to make sure that the young people occupy the voting booth,” said Kumar. 

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  • Photos: In city squares and parks outside U.S. embassy buildings, Black Lives Matter protests go global
  • WATCH: Protests for George Floyd from around the U.S.

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