News and Commentary

Trump Has One Campaign Office In Florida. One.

Without question, Florida is a state that is absolutely crucial to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s chances to winning the presidency. You would think that he had been pulling out all the stops in the Sunshine State as soon as he wrapped up the Republican nomination.

There’s just one problem: he only has one campaign office in Florida so far. One.

Buzzfeed published a lengthy piece focusing on Trump’s lack of campaign infrastructure in key swing states, and the most troubling part about it was when it discussed Florida, noting that “the campaign has been operating a bare-bones operation, with one office in Sarasota and four staff.”

In fairness, the piece does go on to quote Trump’s chief Florida strategist, Karen Giorno, as saying that there will be 25 more offices opened in the state, including one near the Pulse nightclub terror attack. The Republican National Committee also has “has 75 staffers on the ground in Florida, as well as 1,400 volunteers and fellows in charge of local organizing.”

However, a quote from Giorno suggests that even with the expansion of Trump offices in Florida, campaign infrastructure will not be the focus:

But Giorno sees less need for a traditional approach to the ground game because of Trump’s near-universal name recognition and the large attendance at his rallies, and she sounded confident about her approach when interviewed outside Trump’s Kissimmee rally last week. “I’m not big on bricks and mortar and office spaces because as you can see we have a very unique kind of campaign,” Giorno said. Giorno says she’s still relying on the large attendance at Trump’s rallies to reach voters. And she cited the campaign’s social media outreach, saying her team has a 100% response rate to social media queries from voters.

There’s just one problem: he only has one campaign office in Florida so far. One.

This is the mistake the Trump crowd keeps making: mistaking crowd sizes and social media popularity as translating to votes. While those are both important factors, given the fact that Trump is behind in the polls, he will have to focus on voter outreach and campaign advertising to help spread the message if he wants to beat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump does have a reasonable shot at winning Florida, as he trails Clinton by only 3.6 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling averages. But after only having one office in Florida so far, he’s going to have play catch-up in order to win the presidency.