In states with early primary contests, Trump’s staffers are trying to teach their supporters how to vote and get a commitment that they actually will. Before each rally here, Trump’s state co-chairs walk the crowd through how the caucuses work and urge them to attend. But they are also hoping word will spread through social media and in conversations after church, at the school bus stop, during coffee breaks and over holiday dinners…
Trump’s campaign strategy is far from traditional, although his ground game in early voting states has followed a relatively standard playbook in some respects. Over the summer, he hired 10 staffers in Iowa, who traveled around the state in a Trump-branded bus to hand out T-shirts, bumper stickers and hats in exchange for contact information.
But just as Trump doesn’t spend money on pollsters or focus groups, the campaign has yet to purchase databases of potential voters, a key organizing tool used by most campaigns. Instead of buying such a tool from a private contractor, the campaign has compiled its own database using contact information from every rally attendee, either when they registered online or showed up at the door.
With just five weeks until the Iowa caucuses, other Republican candidates have started to flood the state with more staffers and volunteers. Trump’s campaign now has an Iowa staff of 15, who organize at least one large rally per week in addition to continuing to recruit “caucus leaders” who can be the voice of the campaign at caucus locations.