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Trump Campaign Failed to Use This Simple Stack of Papers in 2016… Now It’s Becoming a Weapon for 2024

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On the outside, they seemed to be plain piles of paper. Nonetheless, they constituted a squandered chance for Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign.

A month before Iowa’s 2016 presidential caucuses, mounds of commitment cards piled up in a corner of Trump’s suburban Des Moines state office. These contained the names and contact information of around 10,000 Iowans who attended Trump campaign events and returned cards indicating they were open to supporting the reality television star now running for president.

In what is considered political malpractice by Iowa norms, the campaign did not follow up with people who returned the cards.

“None of that data was used. None of it was entered,” said Alex Latcham, the former political director for the Iowa Republican Party and now Trump’s early-voting state director. “And those people weren’t encouraged or mobilized to caucus.”

Trump’s Iowa state director in 2016 Chuck Laudner did not reply to calls for comment. Yet, by disregarding the cards, Trump’s campaign effectively left a stack of uncashed checks on the table, leaving him susceptible to GOP opponents who were more organized. In Iowa, he was defeated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who would go on to battle Trump state by state for three months.

On Monday, when Trump comes to Iowa, he and his campaign want to take a more systematic approach. They are particularly focused on generating the data and digital interaction he will need to convince Iowans to brave the cold and snow to participate in the caucuses early next year.

Despite his visit to the eastern city of Davenport is his first trip to Iowa since announcing his third presidential campaign, he has held nearly three dozen political events in the state since joining politics. After he left office in 2021, he has held multiple rallies that have gathered thousands of people.

His team is utilizing the data gathered from these events to develop a comprehensive list of supporters to contact. The list now contains the campaign information from 2016 that had been collecting dust.

“One of the advantages we have is that’s an awful lot of data,” said Trump senior consultant Chris LaCivita. “From every donor to rally attendee, we have all that information, which is important in a state like Iowa. This is ground-game stuff. It’s about finding and identifying favorable voters and making sure the campaign is turning them out.”

Trump holds a dominating position in the early stages of the 2024 election campaign.

Yet, he has significant obstacles, including increased interest in the likely campaign of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who made his Iowa debut last week.

Early surveys indicate that Trump’s popularity among Iowa Republicans remains high, despite a little decline since he departed the White House. According to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey conducted on Friday, 80% of respondents now have a favorable opinion of Trump, down from 91% in September 2021.

74% of Iowa Republicans had a good opinion of DeSantis, according to the results of the survey. Significantly, DeSantis has strong name recognition in a state more than 1,000 miles distant from his own, with just 20% unsure of how to evaluate him.

Trump might become the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges if he is indicted within the next few weeks.

He has been called to appear this week before a New York grand jury that has been investigating hush money payments made on his behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign, a move that often implies that an indictment decision is imminent.

The district attorney in Atlanta has stated that choices are “imminent” in a two-year probe into potential unlawful interference in the 2020 election by Trump and his friends. A special counsel from the Department of Justice is also probing efforts by Trump and his aides to overturn the election and the handling of confidential information at his Florida resort.

More on this story via The Western Journal:

The dynamics make the stakes particularly high for Trump in Iowa. As a former president who boasts of his standing atop the GOP, he can’t afford even a narrow loss in the contest that kicks off the nomination process. CONTINUE READING…

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