Political professionals often say that there is not an election for president, rather there are 51 elections for president. In addition to the 50 state elections for delegates, there is a meta-campaign…the one that plays out in national media that isn’t specific to any one state.
Publicly Donald Trump has focused on the meta-campaign, deftly using the media to deliver his message and his attacks on Hillary Clinton. Trump and his campaign have been quick to point out that this is his strategy, to focus on the national race and let that bleed into the specific swing states that he needs to gain.
But under the radar something quite different is happening that shows that Trump is sly as a fox and much more savvy about how elections work than the pundits want to give him credit for.
Politico has the scoop…
Trump’s interest in hyper-local intelligence gathering stands in sharp contrast to his campaign’s public positioning. Publicly, the GOP nominee feuds with his party’s biggest national stars and dismisses the standard strategic and tactical approaches utilized by his top-of-the-ticket predecessors. What organization and outreach he has is provided by the Republican National Committee and state parties.
But several GOP leaders on the ground told POLITICO that in private, Trump has shown an animated and personal interest in what makes their hometowns tick and a bottom-line focus on what it would take to win there. They recounted brief but intense backstage conversations once they’re introduced to him as the leader of the county he’s visiting.
This is called a rope-a-dope strategy. In this case, the left-wing media and Hillary Clinton are the dopes in question. By keeping the focus on the national campaign, Trump can quietly build state level organizations that the Democrats are unprepared to deal with!