The battle for the soul of the nation

Biden has made “decency” the most prominent theme of his campaign.

It’s a good one.

Firstly because it reflects a broadly held existing perception of Biden’s character.

Biden is seen as a kind and gentle man in part thanks to years of internet memes which portrayed him as Obama’s loveable sidekick.

But also thanks to public displays of sincere humanity, such as his acceptance of Pete Buttigieg’s endorsement and his interaction with a young boy with a stutter on the campaign trail.

Secondly, a focus on decency also contrasts Biden’s leadership style to that of his opponent.

Trump’s leadership style is so widely viewed as divisive that it enabled Biden to say in his convention speech that he “will be an ally of the light, not the darkness” and it didn’t sound overblown.

And, finally, decency speaks to one the most prevailing political sentiments amongst voters: a desire to end the sense of division that exists in the country.

One tactic that Team Biden are using to land this theme is defining the election as “a battle for the soul of the nation”.

It’s a pithy, emotive phrase that Biden has consistently used since the start of his Presidential bid and it’s starting to stick with the media.

And one can assume from its extensive use by the campaign that the message is resonating with voters in research groups too.

Biden’s campaign have struggled to land on a consistent slogan, but they’re beginning to have an embarrassment of riches in terms of sticky campaign messaging; from ‘wear a mask‘, to ‘return decency to America‘, ‘Build back better‘ and ‘a battle for the soul of the nation‘.

For all Trump’s attacks on Biden’s lucidity, it is the Democrat candidate that is using the most memorable language.

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