Trump’s Ground Game Takes A Page Out Of Democrats Playbook

(Composite / Photos: GettyImages / Shutterstock)

(The Bulwark) DONALD TRUMP’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN may have a ground game after all. And if all goes as planned, Trump will have a George Soros–backed political committee and the Democrats’ top election-law firm to thank.

For months, Trump was criticized over his small staff and the Republican National Committee’s layoffs and shuttered field offices. But since May, his campaign has quietly been in talks with more than three dozen conservative groups to outsource parts of its voter turnout operation. This would be a first-of-its-kind effort.

Cost: $100 million, at least.

Total paid canvassers: 3,000, at least.

The twist: It can all be financed with unlimited corporate dollars and untraceable dark money from political nonprofits that are otherwise off-limits to a federal campaign.

This type of arrangement between federal campaigns and outside groups used to be forbidden, but the rules changed under a March 20 Federal Election Commission advisory opinion, sought by the Democratic group Texas Majority PAC and the Elias Law Group. That opinion  may turn out to fundamentally change the way federal political campaigns mobilize voters for years to come. It was also a lifeline to the Trump campaign, which was hurting for cash and facing President Biden’s mammoth operation, which has 150 field offices, 400 staffers, and a massive volunteer army across the battleground states.

“Everyone’s chasing the Biden shiny object of, ‘We’re opening offices and hiring staff.’ But they’re missing the big picture,” James Blair, the Trump campaign’s political director in charge of field operations, told The Bulwark. “We’re going to beat them at their own game. They thought they were helping themselves, but they’re actually helping us.”

Or at least, that’s what the Trump campaign is telling itself.

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