Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has announced and set into motion a plan to win the general election in November — and political analysts are saying it could turn the electoral map on its head.
According to The Associated Press, Trump is rushing to install operatives in several states that traditionally favor Democrats, pointing to a general election plan consistent with the campaign he has run thus far: Defying conventional wisdom and political trends.
The staffing expansion includes Maine, Minnesota and other places where Trump opens as the underdog, with the New York billionaire seeking to expand the electoral battlefield by drawing on his appeal among working class white voters — and probable Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s perceived weakness with them. And his path to the White House goes through states that no Republican presidential candidate has carried since the 1980s.
“I will win states that no Republican would even run in,” Trump said in a recent interview.
The Trump campaign has identified roughly 15 states where it plans to install state directors by the end of the month. They include traditional battlegrounds like Ohio, Florida and Virginia and more challenging terrain such as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maine — places Republican have lost for the last six presidential elections or longer. Target states also will likely include Republican-leaning Georgia, where demographic shifts benefit Democrats.
Trump’s deployment of political operatives was outlined by campaign strategists who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about internal strategy and demanded anonymity. The plan will be subsidized, at least in part, by the Republican Party’s new “building fund,” a lightly regulated pool of money that can include donations of more than $100,000 from individual donors, they said, though rules for doing so might pose an obstacle.
Trump is still playing catch-up at this point. While Clinton is already weeks into her own swing-state effort, Trump’s team is scrambling to build a national organization essentially from scratch.
“Up until three weeks ago, there were 102 or 103 employees, which is fewer than Ben Carson had in January,” Trump aide Barry Bennett said. “Today, that number is much bigger, and it’s growing every day.”
The former reality television star’s success in the GOP primary season was fueled almost exclusively by personality and a flood of free media coverage. His expansion into new states signals recognition that Trump must grow his bare-bones operation to be competitive this fall, even if he doesn’t fully embrace other modern-day political tactics.
He refused to add a pollster for the first 11 months of his White House bid, relying on sometimes questionable public polls when making strategic decisions. Shifting toward November’s vote, he recently hired GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio.
It’s a step toward professionalizing the campaign. Up to now, Trump’s strategists have relied on the Republican National Committee’s voter data and internal poling to guide the battleground state staffing plan. Going forward, Fabrizio will work with Trump and committee staff on voter modeling, overseeing polling and voter targeting, according to someone familiar with the hiring.
Trump’s team aims to have about fifteen state directors on the payroll by June 1, supplementing more than 200 committee operatives nationwide. Communications, events and “coalitions” chiefs will augment the campaign’s presence.
To help fund the expansion, Trump’s strategists said he’ll draw from a fundraising deal with the Republican National Committee that should be signed in coming days. Clinton has a similar agreement with Democrats, enabling her to collect checks of more than $350,000 from individual donors.
Trump’s agreement is expected to allow for even larger checks. That’s because the pact will include the “building fund,” which Congress created in 2014 that will enable Trump and Republicans to pull $100,000-plus per donor, despite his repeated criticism of campaign donations.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said no funds from that account will be used to pay for campaign staffers. She said the money would only go to “the operation of the RNC headquarters.”
Trump’s team concedes it wasn’t prepared to shift so suddenly toward the general election. Up until only two weeks ago, it appeared as though the GOP primary would last until the party’s July national convention.
“Nobody complaining that we’re behind schedule,” Trump supporter, Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said, noting Democrats are still locked in a primary fight.
Collins expects Trump’s message to resonate in states like his and “traditional rust belt areas” such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, where many working-class voters usually don’t support Republicans. Among Democrats, Clinton won those three states but lost in Michigan and West Virginia to Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Whether you call them Reagan Democrats, blue dog Democrats, whatever, that’s what puts those areas in play and why I think he’s going to win in a landslide,” Collins said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Ron Coon says
There is a team that will not be defeated this coming November. Two warriors in the White House; One, a financial and business genius and guru, and Two, a Veteran warrior of the Sword. Both with the same purpose and goal. That the needs of the American people are FIRST and FOREMOST on THEIR AGENDA, not the wants of the parasites of the world.
The two men are Donald J. Trump and Lt. Col. Allen West. Our George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Black Jack Pershing of TODAY.
REPUBLICANS THAT DO NOT VOTE ELECT DEMOCRATS.
BIG PICTURE, I’m seeing an Allen West Presidency in 2024/2028 after 2 successful terms as Donald Trump’s VP.
I agree with you 100%. I would like to see COL WEST as VP or SEC DEFENSE.
ILLINOIS BOB says
YEP – TRUMP MET WITH Dr. HENRY KISSINGER TODAY…. Big event. TRUMP also identified 11 very conservative SCOTUS Candidates he said he would consider nominating should he become POTUS…
We need the next Scalia… and TRUMP knows this.
I love Allen West and if he were to run for president he will have my vote
weary conservative says
“Republicans that do not vote elect democrats”.
And people who vote Trump are voting for democrats. Big choice.
All candidates and politicians are owned by the corrupt establishment. Trump has made promises – at least he has something to offer while all the others are already owned and lying to us about what they will do. If Trump does not perform then I will be the first to turn on him, but I think he will perform, so let’s give him the chance to show us all the goods he has promised.
America recognizes it’s enemies. They won’t vote them in again. Trump!
The Texan says
When Trump started his bid for the GOP nomination there were critics who saw him as a flash in the pan. They did not think that he would go the distance. But here he is on the brink of getting it. There ate critics that claim that he can not beat Hillary. But that is probably just wishful thinking and little to do with reality. However Trump would have an even greater advantage if he would do a few things that Hillary does not dare do. To start with he can provide us with a clear picture of his plans to reduce the federal deficit. He could tell us his plans to deflate the bloated federal bureaucracy and lower the tax burden on working Americans. What would he recommend to Congress to stimulate the economy, encourage small business, and put people back to work in the private sector? How would he encourage energy independence? What recommendations would he make to improve our national infrastructure that did not include hiring foreign companies and labor? He can let us know what we may expect from him. And he could give us list of people that he would like to fill his cabinet and other key positions.
The Texan says
Sorry about the typos.
The Texan, you ask several very good questions. Perhaps given enough time, like ten years, Trump might be able to provide a plan to do one or more of the things he says he will do. In the meantime, the country will be running off the rails just as it has for the last 8 years. Trump may ask good questions but, like Bernie Sanders, he has no plans that will actually work.
I see Trump as the one who will be able to put the brakes on the downward death spiral liberalism has thrown us into. He will be the catalyst to begin a trend, getting us started on the road back to greatness. It takes some mighty doing to stop a freight train and turn it around. First you have to stop the train. Trump can do that.
Lupe Sanchez says
I agree with you all the way.
The Texan says
But talking is a good place to start. That has been an historical problem with the Democrats. They have often identified problems but hardly ever solutions that actually work. Their typical solution to a perceived problem is create a bureaucracy, spend a lot of money, and create a lot of rules and regulations. When that fails to accomplish the desired results their solution is to expand the bureaucracy, spend more money, and create more rules and regulations.
Roger Mann says
Gee do you think Hillary Benghazi Clinton aka the Witch of Benghazi could do a better job! Me too if you need someone killed! Following is a record of some of her skills and accomplishments!
Hillary Clinton is a total failure! She failed at everything she ever tried to do except lying, she is really good at that.
1. While Secretary of State she failed to react to pleas for help from our Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that failure cost four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens their lives!
2. The administration tried to blame the attack on a video, which they knew was false! Hillary Clinton was part of this conspiracy because she was Secretary of State and did not refute this claim even though there was no way that she could not have known it was false.
3. Hillary Clinton and her husband stole government property when they left the White House, now I don’t think after eight years they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal and that the property they stole did not belong to them.
4. While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton used a private, unsecured email server to send and receive emails which she knew was illegal, while putting our national security at risk. She said others did it that’s why she did it. So it seems even if it is wrong, in her opinion it is right if someone else did it.
5. While Secretary of State six billion dollars went missing from the State Department! That is taxpayer money, I am a taxpayer and I want to know where my money is!
6. Just recently Hillary Clinton stated that no Americans lives were lost in Libya while she was Secretary of State. I guess she didn’t know that Benghazi was in Libya. Imagine that, a Secretary of State that doesn’t know her geography! These four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Information Management officer, Sean Smith, Navy Seals, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
7. Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war in exchange for 20 billion dollars, promised to her by then President, George W. Bush. Supposedly for the rebuilding of New York City?
8. Let’s not forget Whitewater and Vince Foster!
9. Now we have Bill Clinton visiting polling places in an underhanded attempt to influence voters.
10. When it comes to lying or telling the truth, this is what I heard Hillary Clinton say in an interview with Scott Pelley, she said I have always tried to tell the truth and I don’t believe I ever lied. What? You tell the truth or you don’t, there is no try. She doesn’t think she lied? I don’t believe I ever did anything that I didn’t know I did. If I told a lie, I would know it!
11. Hillary Clinton even failed in marriage as everyone knows, they also know what went on in the oval office. Any other woman would have divorced her husband except for a woman pursuing a political agenda. Hillary doesn’t love her husband, she is using him for her own political gain.
12. The establishment, the liberals and the media, slammed Donald Trump for not immediately denouncing David Duke’s endorsement but they say nothing about Hillary Clinton who was close friends with Robert Byrd, a former KKK member and chapter leader. I don’t care how much good one does it cannot erase the past. Byrd was a member of a gang of sheet clad bigots and thugs that maimed and killed people just because they were different much like the terrorists, Isis does now. It doesn’t matter whether or not Byrd was directly involved in any maiming or killings, he is guilty by association. Byrd’s claim that during his time in the KKK there was no violence, BS, he doesn’t know what other members did when he wasn’t around! Besides I don’t believe him, violence was and still is their agenda!
David Duke a former member of the KKK also served in the political arena, so why is one former KKK member better than another? Robert Byrd and David Duke were members of a bigoted hate group, that maimed and killed for their own self serving agenda. Robert Byrd and David Duke both have blood on their hands, whether or not they were personally involved in any maiming or murders, simply put Robert Byrd and David Duke were terrorists.
He has said eliminate regulation, open up oil drillung, lower corporate taxes to the lowest of developed nations, lower personal tax rates, repatriate 2 trillion dollars offshore, tariff goods like we did when we built the largest manufacturing nation on earth while having the highest standard of living and wages, this will bring jobs and taxes back, eliminate. Ommon core and let the states control things and eliminate the economic and job nightmare of obamacare. That IS the economic plan. It is solid.
Justin W says
Make Hillary work to hang onto traditional Democrat states. That’s a good strategy. I don’t think Bernie Sanders’ supporters are socialists. I think most are trying to send a message to the Democrat Party that they don’t want another Clinton presidency. Many of those Democrats may be open to voting for Donald Trump in hopes that a Trump win will finally send the Clinton’s into retirement.
John potter says
Both the clintons should be send to20 years in jail or
Throw. Them in a deep well and I’ll
Cut the fucking rope !!!!!
Roger Mann says
They should get life without parole!
I totally disagree with OracleGuy’s assessment of Donald Trump. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he will set the “wheels in motion” on his first day in the WH. Trump is a brilliant man, a strategist and a planner. He’s a worldwide real estate mogul with an excellent education and surrounds himself with great men and women. Unlike the black Muslim in the WH, Donald Trump listens to those whose opinions he values and that is why he is such a valuable man in this political climate. I believe Donald Trump will be the next POTUS. I will be elated to be rid of the FRAUD we currently have who dares to call himself president.
wow, that will take big shoes and not just a lot of talk……..good luck to his followers. It will take Trump to fire the whole congress so he can begin his dictatorship. He will use Kim Jong-un as his vp …..It will be a ride folks .
The Texan says
OK jwb, now we know what you expect from Trump. But what would you expect from either Hillary or Bernie?
jwb: Did you forget to take your MEDS today? Give it a rest, preferably a nice long NAP and dream about all the lies, corruption and greed the a$$ hole in the WH has inflicted on this Nation.
jdp…Yes, Trump will be the next pres if Obama does not put our nation in a war with China, Russia or try for a 3rd term or cause caos in the USA where he can place marshal law in effect, if marshal comes into play he remains until the crises is over. With his minon he could keep perpetuating the problem to stay on as pres for a long time.
John potter says
We need trump at the
Head of the table to get us back on the right path! Back to a great country again ,
Linda G. says
I was a Cruz supporter and still think he would have been a great president , but I will be voting for Trump as I do not want Hillary or Bernie . So all you people who feel as I do, get out and vote for Trump . Give him a chance and see if he is a man of his word . If not , then he’s out in 4 years and hopefully we can be older and wiser. A stay at home vote is a vote for more of the same as we’ve had for the last 8 years and that would be a disaster !
Ok, so if I vote Trump, in 4 years and there is no wall with the added 10 feet, I can say I told ya’ so …………….There will be no good out of this .. good luck
Jude Mc Gregor says
Mr Trump , should he win the election, will have a very full plate. It also goes without saying, Congress will fight him tooth & nail over everything. They will never help him past any bills or anything, their goal if he wins the Presidency, is to see that he fails. Unlike the A– in the WH now that had his way on EVERYTHING. The Ryan’s & the rest of the RINO’s need their hind ends voted out when they come up for re-election. I did my part as I voted against the sitting senator in my state yesterday. They want to be in control PERIOD & don’t give a s— about this country only themselves. This is the reason our once great nation is in the shape it is in today– they have all forgotten the citizens.
Sarah Dempsey says
If anyone could straighten out that mess in Washington, it would be Trump. With the crooked, lying Hillary we would only have the same ‘crap’ that we have put up with all these years.
I Can NOT Wait for Donald J Trump to WIN !!!!!!
He WILL WIN, and in turn WE TOO are WINNERS!!!
Like John says,, IF obama doesn’t do something to cause martial law. Looking
at his track record I wouldn’t it past him. The transgender toilet thing he just sent out
letters to all schools districts for, could be a smoke screen for something bigger on his agenda.
Like on the order of what John says. He’s a sneaky little fella. Beware. TRUMP,,2016/2020
and yes,, Col. Allen West would be a great choice for VP.
B. Smith lyons says
We are in crisis….a downward spiral with democrats, unsure how they could possibly change the borrow and giveaway path they are on. As a Democrat what is offered is not exceptable. A dishonorable person and another that is so old they might not make it four years….so looking at the Republican ticket … Cruiz was not exceptable..would have been no change. Trump however started with our problems out front…he may not know exactly how the political system works but as an intelligent business man he can and will figure it out. So I think he is our best hope…after all we gave Obama eight years to really mess it up.