Biden’s camp has nearly three times as much cash on hand as Trump’s team, according to recent campaign filings, and is using its funds on expensive buys like 30-second spots during National Football League games. Without the same money to spend, the Trump campaign has instead leaned on its booking operation to get Trump and hundreds of surrogates on local TV and radio stations.
“Tip O’Neill’s axiom that all politics is local holds true, particularly on local news and talk radio,” said Corey Lewandowski, a campaign adviser and surrogate for Trump. “That is money we don’t need to spend on paid advertising and because we have an opportunity to tailor messages to local places.”
The Trump team’s local news push is part of an effort by the Republican National Committee, the Trump campaign and the White House to build out an operation focused on regional media booking. With a president acutely aware of media coverage, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has expanded the GOP’s booking operation, which is responsible for placing hundreds of surrogates, including the Trump kids, on radio and TV programs around the country. According to the RNC, the team has grown from two to 15 staffers, allowing the party to book surrogates for four times as many interviews as it did in 2016.