Donald Trump has admitted that he “never realized” the importance of building a ground game.
“It would seem to me that people would just go out and vote,” he said.
The Donald’s lack of concern or ignorance about the basic technique of American politics surely contributed to Trump’s defeat by the excellent ground game of Sen. Ted Cruz’ campaign. Worse Trump’s failed Iowa effort, led by Chuck Laudner who ran Santorum’s 2012 Iowa ground game, was stronger than Trumps operation in New Hampshire.
Donald Trump’s failure to build a field organization – recruit volunteers at his Huuuuge rallies, identify voters and then mobilize those voters with an old-fashioned get-out–vote effort, is just as big of a weakness for Trump in New Hampshire as it was in Iowa. Trump has failed to capitalize on the gold mine that his rallies could have been. Trump seems destined to underperform again in New Hampshire. One veteran New Hampshire Republican operative, Ryan Williams, described the Trump organization in the New Hampshire as “pathetic.”
Attendees at Trump rallies register online, but there is little effort to capture their information. According to the Guardian article:
At an event in Plymouth, New Hampshire, on Sunday, for example, no one signed people in as they arrived, which meant no record was kept of who had shown up. Nor were any opportunities presented for supporters to commit to volunteering on election day.
Nor has the Trump campaign reached out to attendees whose information it does have. The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs spoke to dozens of Trump volunteers and supporters at rallies in New Hampshire. Many had been emailed by the campaign but none had been called about volunteering. Contrast Trump’s losing effort to Obama’s 2008 Iowa campaign. Every event attendee was contacted by phone within 48 hours, asked if they supported Obama and if yes would they volunteer for him.
Trump’s failure to build an effective ground game in New Hampshire, where he had the better part of year to do so, raises questions about his ability to turn out voters in the upcoming states where he will now only have weeks, if not days, to organize. Trump’s groundless game remains a huuuuge loser.