Donald Trump’s ground game in key swing states is a disaster, and it’s causing panic among Republicans, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Donald Trump’s campaign has opened absolutely none of the 24 field offices it promised to open in the important battleground state of Florida. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has 34 offices in the state.
Bloomberg also reports that Trump lags behind the Democratic nominee in other crucial states like North Carolina, where his campaign has zero field offices, and Nevada where he has just one.
In 11 battleground states where Trump is competing the hardest, his campaign has more than 50 offices where his backers can seek information and volunteer to help, according to Bloomberg interviews with GOP operatives and Trump staff in the states. Clinton has more than four times that – over 200, her aides said.
One Trump insider laid partial blame on the RNC for the delay in staffing up, saying party officials have taken too long in Florida and other battlegrounds to issue contracts to campaign workers, whose salaries are paid by the joint campaign/RNC fund. As a result, some staff are having to work for free, the insider said.
Florida isn’t the only state where Trump is lagging in the ground game. In Nevada, which has emerged as an unexpected bright spot for Trump, his campaign has opened just one office, in Henderson. Team Trump can do work from RNC and Nevada GOP offices in Las Vegas, Reno, Pahrump and Elko, but the relationship between the two teams is strained, operatives there said.
It’s clear that Donald Trump’s ground game, with less than 70 days until Election Day, is pretty pathetic. And despite Trump’s care-free attitude when it comes to doing the hard work of getting out the vote on a grassroots level, general elections are won and lost on the ground.
It’s how President Obama was able to grind out two decisive victories over John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
The fact that the campaign of this year’s Republican nominee is so late to get its ground game in order is puzzling, particularly in a state as important as Florida. Without the Sunshine State’s 29 electoral votes in his column, the odds of Donald Trump being elected president in November are virtually nonexistent.
In a close election, Trump’s poor ground game could cost him the election.