Republican staffing in key states sputters with Trump at helm

Donald Trump has left the Republican party to its own devices when it comes to staffing up the ground game in critical states and, despite the party’s relatively good fundraising numbers, it’s still falling far short of its original goals, according to an Associated Press review of staffing levels.

Some examples of Republican shortfalls: Ohio Republicans thought they were going to see 220 paid staffers by May; in reality there are about 50. Plans for Pennsylvania called for 190 paid staffers; there are about 60. Iowa’s planned ground force of 66 by May actually numbers between 25 and 30. In Colorado, recent staff departures have left about two dozen employees, far short of the 80 that were to have been in place. […]

In New Hampshire, a swing state that also features one of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests, the Republican National Committee’s original plan called for more than

paid staff on the ground by May. Yet what’s happening there highlights that even when the RNC is close to meeting its staffing goals, there can be problems. In this case, 20 positions have been converted to part-time, and local officials have been struggling to fill them.

Bottom line: Hillary Clinton’s fundraising has just totally eclipsed that of her GOP rival and the RNC can’t make up for the shortfall alone, even though it has far more staffers on the ground than it did in 2012 (487 spread across the country now vs. 170 in 2012). In Ohio, for instance, Democrats still have about twice the number of staffers. And Trump is almost completely reliant on the RNC to make up for this shortfall.

A sign on an office door in Sarasota, Florida, illustrates how critical the RNC will be to Trump’s bid for the White House. It’s Trump’s state headquarters.

“THANKS FOR STOPPING BY OUR OFFICE!” the blue paper reads. “Our office is TEMPORARILY CLOSED to the public, while our office works to prep for the National Convention in Cleveland.”

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