The Corner

How Much Faith Does Donald Trump Have in His Team?

Hmmm, number one, from Politico:

Last month, the [Trump] campaign laid off the leader of its data team, Matt Braynard, who did not train a successor. It elevated his No. 2, a data engineer with little prior high-level political strategy experience, and also shifted some of his team’s duties to a 2015 college graduate whose last job was an internship with the consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive. Some of the campaign’s data remains inaccessible.

The article also notes that the Trump campaign laid off staff in states like Ohio, Florida, and South Carolina after those states held their primaries.

Hmmm, number two, from New York magazine:

Trump’s campaign employs a core team of about a dozen people; his campaign lists 94 people on the payroll nationwide, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing (Hillary Clinton has 765). Trump has no pollsters, media coaches, or speechwriters. He ­focus-groups nothing. He buys few ads, and when he does, he likes to write them himself. He also writes his own tweets, his main vehicle for communicating with his supporters.

Hmmm, number three, from the New York Times

When Mr. Priebus explained that each campaign needed to be prepared to fight for delegates at each state’s convention, Mr. Trump turned to his aides and suggested that they had not been doing what they needed to do, the people briefed on the meeting said.

The easiest joke here is to chuckle, “but he only hires the best people,” or to quote Trump’s odd advice from last week, “Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you.” But in the Politico piece, one unnamed GOP operative says, “[Trump] might be a great quarterback, but every quarterback still needs a strong offensive line.” Trump the candidate is masterful at getting the media into focus upon whatever is on his mind on any given day and cutting off media oxygen to competitors. But a campaign is more than just media coverage, as the recent fights over delegates at state conventions make clear.

Even if Reince Priebus or Republican convention delegates have faith that Trump can overcome his currently abysmal favorable ratings and head-to-head numbers against Hillary Clinton, how certain can they be that Donald Trump can turn his small-staff campaign into a nationwide, data-driven, get-out-the-vote operation that can go toe-to-toe with the Clinton machine?

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