While the Democrats are engaged in a cut-throat primary battle to pick their presidential nominee, the Trump campaign has had months in which to focus on developing a strategy to beat the presumptive Democratic nominee. They have not wasted that time.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, has developed an extensive and sophisticated reelection campaign that Salon refers to as “a nuclear arsenal of lies and kooky conspiracy theories.”
The Trump campaign and the Republican Nation Committee have together gathered an astronomical amount of data on individual voters, upwards of 3,000 individual data points in fact. These data points aren’t just information on who you’ve voted for previously, but information such as what your favorite color is, and according to the Christian Science Monitor, whether you own a gun or watch the golf channel. All of this intensely personalized information allows the Trump campaign to craft their message in as customized a way as possible. (RELATED: ‘Russian Asset’ Schiff Destroyed Biden’s Campaign And Will Get Trump Reelected Says GOP Challenger)
This information will be of particular use on social media platforms where users already input their interests and customize what they want to see. Salon describes Facebook as feeling “as if Facebook is a subsidiary of the Trump campaign, at least for now.” (RELATED: Another Republican Congressman Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection)
Parscale has also focused on finding disengaged voters, particularly those who found both 2016 presidential choices repugnant and didn’t vote. Axios wrote in December 2019 that to date, the Trump campaign had identified almost 9 million of these type of voters. In fact, after Trump’s massive rallies, Parscale will tweet out some of the information gathered on the rally attendees, making sure to note how many did not vote in 2016.
Wow! New Jersey Data:
✅ 158,632 Requested Tickets (92,841 distinct signups)
✅ 73,482 Voters Identified
✅ 10.4% Didn’t Vote in 2016
✅ 26.3% Democrats
Mind boggling. ????
— Brad Parscale – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@parscale) January 29, 2020
Data from tonight’s Kentucky rally:
✅ 27,285 voters identified
✅ 28% voted once or less in last 4 elections (14% in zero)
✅ 23% Democrat
✅ Nearly 100% from Kentucky
Big numbers to help @MattBevin win four more years as the governor of Kentucky!
— Brad Parscale – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@parscale) November 5, 2019
The Trump campaign also thinks it sees an opportunity to expand the map of states in which they are competitive. In 2016, Trump had historic wins in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but only by the narrowest of margins. In addition, Trump also narrowly missed winning Minnesota by less than two points, New Hampshire by less than one-half point and was competitive in Colorado, Virginia and Nevada.
Part of the process of swinging these states is by energizing and recruiting minority voters, groups that the GOP has not traditionally performed well with. In order to reach them, the Trump administration has focused some of their attention on criminal justice reform and meeting with black leaders, including cultural figures such as Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. The Washington Post described the goal of Trump’s outreach to black communities as not actually trying to win a majority of their votes, but rather shave off enough percentage votes to prevent a Democratic win,” a strategy that was successful in 2016.
Reaching new communities and expanding the electoral college map are both expensive feats. However, the Trump campaign is well prepared. The impeachment process was jet fuel for their fundraising, and not having to compete in a grueling primary has given them several months head start over any Democratic opponent. Politico reported that the Trump campaign raised “46 million dollars during the last three months of 2019” and had “$103 million on hand.” These numbers outpace Obama numbers in 2011 when he was running for reelection. In addition, fundraising for the RNC has dwarfed the numbers raised by the DNC, and the RNC has no debt to their name.
Trump’s reelection campaign so far is a sophisticated and massive beast. The information collected, the historic fundraising, and the massive rallies all allow him the opportunity to expand his voter pool and the electoral map in the 2020 presidential race. Of course, Trump tends to be his own worst enemy, and there are numerous factors, Iran, coronavirus, a recession or others that could end up tanking his reelection chances, but in the meantime, his campaign is doing everything possible to ensure another four years of President Trump.