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Trump Builds His Political Operation

Image: Trump Builds His Political Operation

By    |   Saturday, 01 Aug 2015 09:47 PM

Just days before the first Republican debate in the 2016 sweepstakes, Donald Trump is bringing together campaign workers and strategists to build his political machine — particularly in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

"The proof is in the pudding," a political strategist told The Hill on Saturday. "He's winning. So by definition doing the right thing ... People like his attitude. He's a scrapper. He fights.

"He jumped into the race and stunned everyone by soaring to the top of polls — and maintaining a lead," the strategist said. "Now, he's building the infrastructure around it and he's putting together a pretty-good campaign team."

The billionaire businessman announced this week that he had hired Michael Glassner, a former chief of staff to 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the Hill reports. He also served as an adviser to former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996.

Glassner "is going to work to ensure that Mr. Trump has the best grassroots network in the country," Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Hill.

The move was part of a Trump expansion in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — and Lewandowski said the campaign was on target with its organizing efforts.

"I don't think we're outnumbered at all," he said. Lewandowski is a former director at the conservative Americans for Prosperity (AFP). "The poll numbers show that Mr. Trump is the leading candidate ... his message to 'Make America Great Again' is resonating."

Top strategists in Iowa and South Carolina, who were involved in major political upsets in the states during the 2012 Republican campaign, have also joined the Trump team.

They include longtime strategist Chuck Laudner in Iowa, who was behind former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's upset in the 2012 caucuses, the Hill reports. Santorum finished second in the delegate count to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"We're going to run the best ground game in the country out there," Lewandowski told the Hill. "Chuck is the best political operative in the state of Iowa."

In South Carolina, Trump has hired Ed McMullen, the state's Republican Party co-chairman, and Gerri McDaniel, who worked on GOP Gov. Nikki Haley's gubernatorial campaign.

McDaniel also worked on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's 2012 presidential campaign. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary that year.

Matt Ciepielowski is leading a team in New Hampshire — and Lewandowski told the Hill said the group is "quickly assembling a top team."

Ciepielowski served as an AFP field director for the Granite State, according to the report.

"Trump seems to be activating people who are disaffected by the political system," said Donna Hoffman, political science department head at the University of Northern Iowa. "Still, he's behind the ball a little bit in terms of infrastructure in the state.

"But it's not too late," she told the Hill. "If he wants to organize here, he's got the money and the name recognition."

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Just days before the first Republican debate in the 2016 sweepstakes, Donald Trump is bringing together campaign workers and strategists to build his political machine - particularly in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. The proof is in the pudding, a...
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Saturday, 01 Aug 2015 09:47 PM
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