In what is now a well-established pattern for Donald Trump, he has apparently listed several New Hampshire residents as town chairmen when in fact those people do not even support him. The first major incident of this type occurred when Trump jumped the gun on claiming that 100 black pastors were endorsing him, when apparently most of them had only agreed to meet with him in order to express their displeasure with his rhetoric.
In the latest episode of “People Who Didn’t Know They Were Supporting Trump,” several prominent New Hampshire Republicans have a starring role:
Some of Donald Trump’s town chairmen aren’t actually supporting him.
A few Granite Staters were surprised to see their names on the billionaire’s list of town chairmen, according to multiple news reports. A couple even told the media they may instead vote for a different Republican presidential candidate.
One headline sounds like it was plucked from The Onion, which specializes in satire.
“Reporter stunned to see he’s Trump’s Tamworth chair,” read the headline in The Conway Daily Sun.
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The Valley News reported Wednesday that Trump’s Woodsville town chairman, Nancy Partington, intends to vote for Republican Jeb Bush. The newspaper’s story, “Trump May Have Jumped Gun in N.H.,” also notes that the candidate’s Lebanon chairman is not yet an American citizen.
I am not sure what it is with Trump, who by all accounts is running first nationwide and first specifically in New Hampshire, that he keeps running into these kinds of problems. Surely he has enough genuine supporters in every part of the state to put together a legitimate list. It seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world to avoid public embarrassment through just making sure the list is accurate.
But then, this sort of problem goes all the way back to the beginning of Trump’s campaign, when he basically paid people $50 a head to come to his campaign announcement and pretend to be his supporters, even though he was drawing about 10% in the polls before he announced and thus had a healthy well of potential actual supporters that he could have drawn from to pack his announcement.
I think, basically, that Trump is operating on two principles when he gets into these kinds of scrapes. The first, likely gleaned from his business experience, is that it’s much easier to orchestrate PR with paid dupes than it is with actual supporters, who can be unpredictable and demanding. The second, gained from his experience on the campaign trail, is that his supporters are immune from caring about whether either Trump or they are embarrassed in the media.
Thus we have stories like this that seem to regularly pop up during the course of the Trump campaign. For a guy who is running on his alleged ability to run a tight ship, it doesn’t inspire confidence either in his general election campaign prowess or his ability to be a successful President. On the other hand, ask the average Trump supporter if they care.