This Man Just Exposed A Sorry Truth About A Vital Part Of Trump’s Campaign

We’ve been drowning in the final stretch of this presidential election cycle since August. At three weeks out, both candidates should have their ground games well-established, and even be working overtime in a lot of cases, to reach as many voters as possible. Apparently, though, none of this is true for Trump. Like his outward campaign, his ground game has no cohesion or organization at all, and what few volunteers there are don’t seem to care about the actual business of campaigning for a presidential candidate:

“[T]hese people cared more about the reality show Trump had created, then [sic] the reality of the campaign itself.”

That’s what Scott David Shapiro, who maintains a news blog on Medium, said after he embarked on a suicide mission to see if Trump’s ground game was as “big league” as he was making it sound.

First things first – it took Trump forever to open up local campaign offices—a move especially perplexing in swing states where he needs a ground game—and Shapiro wanted to see just what was going on after he heard that such offices were finally opening.

His first stop was in Mesa, Arizona. Not quite a swing state, but in play because Trump is so awful. He immediately ran into problems when he got there. He had an address, but no phone number and the Arizona Republican Party didn’t have a number either. Strange. Shapiro soldiered on with the info he had, and this is what happened:

“[W]hen I arrived at 1234 S. Power Road, I found a large office complex… with no cars in the parking lot. This struck me as odd considering the office was supposed to be open 7 days a week. But I pressed on, finding myself standing in front of Suite 251.

This was supposed to be the Trump Victory Office, but I stood there confused as there was nothing on door indicating it as such. Then, I peered through the half-drawn blinds, noticing a ceiling fan was spinning inside. So, I took a deep breath, reached for the handle and opened the door… walking right into a COMPLETELY EMPTY ROOM. WTF?”

He went on to say that he finally found someone in there, but that one, single person could only say, “I think you’re in the wrong place.”

Um. What?

Anyway. Strike one, and Shapiro was off to find the next office, which had just opened up in Long Beach, CA, at the Cambodian Cultural Center. Hokay, then. That sounds like a really odd place for a presidential campaign’s local office, but minority outreach, maybe?

Shapiro had to go there TWICE to actually find the office, and when he did:

“[T]here was no ‘big-league’ ground game to be found. This office was strictly the minors. Neither of the tiny, two staff operation had ever run a campaign office before. And it showed… they were selling yard signs for 25 bucks a pop when they should be given out for free for fuck’s sake!

I told them I had previous campaign experience, and they practically rolled out the red carpet for me. Completely unvetted, they placed me at the front desk, where I sat by my lonesome for an hour.”

In this office, he was very quickly tapped to participate on a three-person “debate the debate” panel when nobody even knew his name. He volunteered there for two weeks, astonished that all the bluster from Trump supporters and campaign staff had amounted to a severe lack of anything resembling a ground game.

Finally, a friend of Shapiro’s in Tampa mentioned a Trump Victory Office there, and oh my god! Trump is opening these offices all over Florida, right where they need to be! So Shapiro packed his bags again and headed down to Florida:

“[W]hen I arrived at the Trump Victory South Tampa office, I realized there was nothing to fear but fear itself. Unbelievably, this office had even less going on in it then freaking Long Beach! Sure, there were more staff members, but volunteers were few and far between…

Day after day, the excuses for the lack of bodies started to pile up, ranging from Republicans were too busy because they had JOBS to Hurricane Matthew’s imminent arrival. But the hurricane came and went with nary a raindrop in Tampa.”

And then the “Access Hollywood” tape that proved Trump is a sexual predator came out, and the office just ground to a halt, according to Shapiro. Excuses for why people weren’t coming in to volunteer turned to great weather and sports, but the fact was that the “boots on the ground” that Trump implied were everywhere just…weren’t anywhere.

It’s not just Shapiro’s blog post. He tweeted about his progress throughout this project, and also found someone else who was trying to locate Trump’s “ground game.”

Yet, when it came to debate parties, turnout was yuuuuge, showing Shapiro that Trump’s supporters are “all talk and no action.” This was true even for the second debate, which was after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out. They’re there for the glitz and glamour, but when it comes to doing real work, they avoid it like the plague.


Featured image by Kena Betancur via Getty Images