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Hullabaloo


Saturday, August 13, 2016

 

Good night and good luck, Don

by Tom Sullivan


NC Coordinated Campaign office opening in Asheville on Thursday.
Photo by Anna Hitrova via Facebook.

At Political Animal, Nancy LeTourneau observes that with all the focus in the press on rallies and polling numbers, there aren't many stories on the Clinton and Trump ground games. In Ohio, for example, Daily Kos blogger “mt41w” attended the Wednesday opening of a Clinton field office in Mason, Ohio just northeast of Cincinnati in southern Ohio:

In the room where I stood and sweated — the A/C was overwhelmed — I counted 35 people, including the Channel 12 CBS Local News crew and cameraman. And I was in the smaller of six rooms in this converted house on Mason’s Main Street. I could see more people outside on the porch and sidewalk unwilling or unable to brave the crowded rooms, so I’d take a guess of perhaps 100-125 people in attendance.
It was one of seven Clinton field offices opening in Ohio on Wednesday, according to the post. Just east of there, another Clinton field office opened in Chillicothe. (I dropped in for the opening of the Clinton/NC Coordinated Campaign office here on Thursday. North Carolina is another battleground state.)

A report out of Cincinnati cites a Trump spokesperson saying he plans 25 "Victory Centers" in Ohio, but:
With the presidential election 90 days away, the Donald Trump campaign is scrambling to set up the basics of a campaign in Hamilton County, a key county in a swing state crucial to a Republican victory, a recent internal email obtained by The Enquirer shows.

The campaign has yet to find or appoint key local leaders or open a campaign office in the county and isn't yet sure which Hamilton County Republican party's central committee members are allied with the Republican presidential nominee.

"If they are against us, we just need to know," wrote Missy Mae Walters, Southwest Ohio regional coordinator for the campaign.
New York magazine reports that at present:
Donald Trump has one field office in Florida, a state of 65 million square miles and 29 electoral votes. Which is to say, the GOP nominee barely has a campaign in a state he needs to win to have any real shot at the White House. And yet Trump would like the Republican National Committee to devote its limited resources to funding a get-out-the-vote operation for him in Hawaii.
Clinton has fourteen field offices open in Florida, according to the Miami Herald.

Politico reports:
The Trump campaign has asked the RNC to open offices in all 50 states, a move one party aide told Daniel is a “complete waste of resources.” For example, why boost resources in a state like Idaho, which is going to vote for Trump, or states like Hawaii or Massachusetts that certainly will not? An RNC source said it was a “fool’s errand” and more for Trump’s “ego” and for “bragging” purposes, instead of deft campaign strategy. The source said it was a “personal request” by Trump to have offices in all 50 states.
This is classic rookie thinking. Novice candidates (and cheap ones) sometimes believe that the party exists to raise their money and run their campaigns for them. Uh, no. The party assists with GOTV efforts. Candidates run their own campaigns and raise and spend their own money. And if they cannot manage that, how can they be expected to manage anything else?

From an NBC News report on Friday:
"These are supposed to be battleground states, but right now, they don't look that way," says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Indeed, if Clinton ultimately wins all four, Trump has no realistic path to getting the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. And even if Trump is able to win in Florida and its 29 electoral votes, he has to run the table in the other battlegrounds, including in Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump seems to think unsubstantiated allegations of cheating before the fact are all it will take to get voters to the polls in the battleground state of Pennsylvania where one poll show him trailing by 11 points and Clinton running the table in others.

In another report, Politico quotes an Iowa Republican on the state of Trump's efforts:
“While it's true that previous candidates have come back from greater deficits to win, it won't happen in 2016. The electorate is far more base-driven, with fewer persuadables,” said an Iowa Republican. “Trump is underperforming so comprehensively across states and demographics it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America!’ But in 2016, stranger things have happened.”
Clinton has both money and a field campaign. Trump has money he won't spend and a campaign based on rallies where he can be surrounded by admirers. Good luck with that.

Update: Corrected to clarify who is "running the table" in battleground states.