Nearly four years after President Trump’s election shattered Democratic confidence, Joe Biden staged a nominating convention this week that attempted to exorcise the party’s remaining doubts about itself, making a big bet that the nativism, anti-elitism and anger that fueled Trump’s rise have foundered on the shoals of a historic pandemic and economic crisis.

The newly confident and unapologetic party that Biden showcased over four nights gave no ground to the electoral strategy Trump will highlight starting Monday, when Republicans offer their convention counterpunch. Instead, Biden’s team leaned into the sizable polling lead he enjoys among college-educated voters, women, people of color and the young, aiming to boost turnout in the fall by aiming the party’s pitch in their direction.

Gone was the caution of 2018, when Democrats went out of their way to stick to unifying issues such as health-care concerns and avoid a frontal assault on Trump. Missing this week was the hand-wringing that followed the 2016 campaign, when many Democratic consultants and others argued that nominee Hillary Clinton had focused too much on identity politics and failed to reach out to working-class White voters in Rust Belt states. Biden’s party, after four years of apprehension, was not playing defense.

Democrats have concluded, correctly or not, that the backlash against Trump’s handling of the pandemic and the huge bursts of enthusiasm for Democrats that they’ve seen in recent elections suggest that maximizing the votes of urban and suburban voters is an easier lift over the next 10 weeks than trying to win over White working-class voters who sided with Trump in 2016.

“At some point, you just accept who we are,” said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, who had criticized Clinton but now praised Biden’s similar approach. “It’s also a winning formula when you are running against a racist who drives away college voters and women voters and even some Republican voters.”

Democrats have leaned heavily on polling that shows many of the president’s go-to criticisms, including his attacks on Black Lives Matter protests, and his continued focus on a border wall, are unpopular, including among many White voters. Biden and his fellow Democrats are also convinced that Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been so damaging that more people are open to hearing criticisms of his ability to govern.

And public opinion on issues such as racial justice has shifted since 2016.

“The tiny little town of Plymouth, Wisconsin, where I grew up and my wife grew up — and they have never voted for me and never will vote for me, not because they’re not my friends, it’s because they’re Republicans — at the end of the day, they had two protests around George Floyd,” Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said in one breakout session this week, referring to the Black man killed while being pinned down by Minneapolis police in May. “So I just think that resonates.”

One Democratic consultant familiar with the party’s emerging strategy said the campaign is intent on holding onto its suburban gains while expanding its support among people who were reflected on screen this week.

“Our Biden targets are young. They are independents. They are people of color,” the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information. Democrats also have been comforted by Biden’s longtime ties to many of the White communities in the Midwest where Trump was able to make inroads in 2016.

The strategy was omnipresent over four days of broadcasts watched by tens of millions of Americans, elevating a diverse set of voters and elected officials including Danica Roem, a transgender Virginia lawmaker; Ady Barkan, a disability rights activist; representatives of Black, Latino and Asian communities; and several children or young adults who criticized the damage they said has been done by Trump or praised Biden as decent.

Two of the highest-profile speeches were delivered by Black women, former first lady Michelle Obama, who offered a scathing denunciation of Trump, and the vice-presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

Rather than run from their Hollywood ties, Democrats drafted famous actresses as hosts, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who joked about Trump’s ability to read and remember while mocking the pronunciation of Vice President Pence’s name as payback for Republicans mangling Harris’s first name while questioning her citizenship. In the face of Republican attacks over academic elitism, Biden gave a prime speaking slot to a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, quoted the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and recited a poem by the Nobel Prize winner and Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

Faced with Trump’s immigration rhetoric, which found traction in 2016, Biden showcased an undocumented mother in North Carolina who had unapologetically carried her daughter across the Rio Grande after a spina bifida diagnosis to gain access to American health care.

“We all deserve hope, a good life and health,” Silvia Sanchez, an undocumented resident of North Carolina, said in Spanish.

Although the convention featured several Republicans who say they will vote for Biden, many of the hedges Democrats have long embraced in an effort to maintain Midwestern White voting margins were wiped away. The party spoke about gun regulation without a nod to hunters, promised to tackle climate change without any allowance for the fossil fuel industry, and ran straight into an extended discussion on race that focused not on the gradual improvement over the course of history, as Obama had, but the alarming injustices of the present.

At every step, people of color and women were asked to take the lead, reducing the representation of White men compared with past conventions, except, of course, as the presidential nominee. “The litmus test for America is how we are treating Black women,” Harris said in a video introducing her remarks Wednesday.

At a virtual meeting of the party’s rural caucus, outside the evening broadcast hours, diversity was a focus. “The one myth I want to dispel is: Rural does not just equate to White folks,” Jaime Harrison, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina who grew up in a small rural town, said during one session.

Trump dominated in most rural parts of the country in 2016 but has seen his support soften, and Democrats hope to lessen the president’s margins in rural areas of battleground states.

“When you are winning women across the country at the level that Democrats are currently able to do, you have the ability to expand the map in a lot of places,” said Dan Sena, who ran the House Democratic election effort in 2018. “I’m not sure if before covid we would have seen a very similar set up.”

The Democratic confidence is unlikely to shift Trump’s designs for his own convention next week, which are expected to cast Democrats as an anti-American party led by a lifetime, over-the-hill politician unfit for office.

“In the Democrats’ view, America was fatally broken at its founding, was broken for 244 years, and remains broken today,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said. “By contrast, President Trump thinks we have the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

Trump advisers say privately that if the election is about which candidate is better liked, they know the president will lose. What they instead hope to do is define Biden as doddering and under the sway of a far-left party or his family’s business interests, four officials said on the condition of anonymity to discuss strategic conversations.

They also plan to respond, at the urging of campaign manager Bill Stepien, to the Democrats’ constant focus this week on the coronavirus. Trump and his advisers paid particular attention to Kristin Urquiza, a woman who, in her convention speech, angrily blamed Trump for her father’s death of covid-19.

Trump advisers were pleasantly surprised that Biden did not offer more of a case on economic policy or against China.

“We definitely want to improve on the dour and sour mood of the DNC. The two most popular words at the Democratic convention were not ‘Joe Biden.’ They were ‘Donald Trump,’ ” said Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president.

She added: “I agree with people like [Democratic consultant] James Carville making the point that we didn’t hear anything about the economy argument. There’s very little of note that Biden did in the eight years while he was vice president here to help the middle class. I don’t think anyone’s ever used the phrase ‘Biden economy.’ ”

Trump closely watched the convention and asked for a number of changes to the RNC plan, officials said. The agenda has been in flux even in the past 24 hours.

People familiar with the planning said certain Trump allies — such as senior adviser Hope Hicks and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel — were in discussions for speaking roles but now will not speak. Trump also wants Kim Klacik, the Black Republican who is running for the Baltimore House seat once held by the late Elijah E. Cummings, to speak.

The question for Republicans is whether any of that will rise higher in voters’ lists of concerns than the virus, which this year has killed more than 170,000 people in the United States and sickened millions more, and thrown the economy into a tailspin.

Much of the focus in the Democratic Party has been on polling that shows Biden with an unusually broad lead at this point in the campaign, as voters have reacted poorly to Trump’s handling of the national health crisis. The shifts have allowed Democrats to focus less on appealing to the president’s core constituencies, including White men without college degrees.

“I don’t think that it is tossing the lessons out [from 2016 and 2018],” said a second Democratic consultant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to comment more frankly. “I think it is absorbing the reality of what is happening today, which is the only thing that matters right now is the virus.”

Democrats also decided that they did not need to focus on the details of the more controversial episodes of Trump’s time in office, such as his impeachment last year for trying to pressure a foreign government to help him in the campaign against Biden or the mingling of his private business with his official and campaign roles.

“We are very focused on making the case against Trump’s leadership having failed people in a way that really impacts people’s day-to-day lives,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Friday. “What Biden had to say last night will be very front and center when people watch Donald Trump next week.”

But Trump’s appeal among voters in key parts of the country also remains strong. In Washington County, Pa., a region southwest of Pittsburgh on the West Virginia border, Democrats have been fighting to prevent a repeat of the historic wipeout Trump inflicted in 2016, which helped tilt the state into his column.

“It’s a very White and rural county. And, unfortunately, there’s a lot of systemic racism in this county,” said Ben Bright, the chairman of the county Democratic Party. “And so when somebody like Michelle Obama comes up and speaks, unfortunately, there’s some kickback from, especially, the other party.”

After Obama spoke on Monday night — Bright called her words “amazing”— he saw some local Republicans posting messages on social media that were “very, very crude.”

But he said that he hasn’t seen that same response from Democrats and that many of those with whom he has talked were excited to see the diversity of their party captured in the convention. His mother, a longtime Republican who voted for Trump in 2016, plans to vote for Biden, he said.

“There may be a lot of quiet voices out there that are talking,” he said, “but I think those are mostly from the other party.”