In the spin room last night, Donald Trump was stopped by CNN and asked, among other things, if he had learned from Iowa that he needed to have a strong ground game to succeed in New Hampshire. Trump’s answer indicated that he still rejects the notion that a ground game is important at all, even in small states when turnout is expected to be exceptionally high. Watch his response:
Reporter: When you said after Iowa that you guys could have done better with a stronger ground game, how have you sharpened your ground game in New Hampshire? How confident are you that it’s better?
Trump: I’m spending a lot of money, I think prob, uh, personally, the debate tonight is more important than the ground game, because in New Hampshire, the people like you, and they’re gonna go out, and they’re gonna vote, and they’re gonna go back. You know, there’s not so much of a ground game. I think our ground game’s good, but I really think that the debate tonight was more important than the ground game.
Trump may yet win New Hampshire, but he still has no idea or appreciation for how retail politics works in these smaller states. It’s not an either/or thing, it’s a both/and thing. And what makes Trump dangerous is how confident he is about things he has no idea about – such as his confident assertion that “New Hampshire is easier to poll than Iowa” (in fact, as it has been noted repeatedly, the opposite is true). Definitely there’s no way that could bite him in the butt if he were ever elected President.