Trump Campaign Unveils Real Strategy: Discouraging Democratic Turnout

AP

In the run-up to Election Day, Donald Trump’s campaign has two goals: suppress voter turnout among key Democratic constituencies and shore up a mass database of voter contact information to be used for whatever comes next.

A Bloomberg Politics story out Thursday provided a rare behind-the-scenes look into the work of the Republican nominee’s strategy team, headed up by digital director Brad Parscale, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign CEO Steve Bannon.

According to Parscale, a political novice who has spearheaded the campaign’s sprawling social media and online fundraising efforts from the research team’s San Antonio, Texas headquarters, the campaign spends $100,000 on surveys and pumps out sophisticated daily simulations of the election.

“Nate Silver’s results have been similar to ours,” Parscale told Bloomberg, acknowledging that the campaign knows they’re lagging behind Hillary Clinton in the polls.

Silver’s 538 website’s election forecast currently has Clinton with an 85.7 percent chance of winning the presidency, compared to 14.3 percent for Trump.

Armed with this knowledge, the campaign has essentially given up on attracting new voters, instead working to turn key Demographic groups against Clinton and rally its hardcore base of younger, populist, rural supporters.

“We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” an unnamed senior campaign official told Bloomberg.

A focus on Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails is dedicated to turning away young white former supporters of Sen. Bernie Senders (I-VT); highlighting women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct is aimed at undermining her appeal with young women; and her 1996 reference to some black gang members as “superpredators” is meant to suppress the vote among African American voters.

Looking past Election Day, Trump’s senior staff wants to leverage the approximately 12 to 14 million e-mail addresses and other contact information they expect to have obtained from voters by November 8 to help shape the future of the GOP, Bloomberg reported.

While the real estate mogul has insisted he does not want to start a TV network, this valuable voter information could be sold off to other campaigns, used to fund a new media venture, or deployed as the basis for another Trump presidential run in 2020.

“What he’s built is the underlying apparatus for a political movement that’s going to propel us to victory on Nov. 8 and dominate Republican politics after that,” Bannon told Bloomberg.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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