The Establishment is Soling Their Pants
The corrupt Elites are pissed because someone
they can't control may win.
Iowa - NBC / Wall Street Journal Poll, October
- 24% - Trump
- 19% - Carson
- 8% - Fiorina
- 7% - Bush
- 6% - Cruz
- 6% - Rubio
- 6% - Jindal
- 5% - Huckabee
- 4% - Paul
- 4% - Christie
- 3% - Kasich
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|Trump supporters - Love the shirts|
Trump's Formidable Ground Game
ROCKFORD, IA (NBC News) - In this small town, the population is just 800. There's no restaurant or diner. It's 30 minutes removed from the nearest highway.
Rockford, though, is the humble childhood and current home of Chuck Laudner, the man that has turned the Iowa campaign of Donald Trump -- the big city developer -- into a legitimate grassroots organization with the boots on the ground required to win the Iowa caucuses next February.
"They are doing everything right. I have no doubt that their numbers are there. If they stay solid, they could turn out 23 to 26 percent of the vote -- enough to win," a longtime GOP operative in the state told NBC News.
"[Chuck Laudner] knows how to build a database. He knows how to organize grassroots. And he talks their language," the Republican said. "He is a deity among conservative grassroots."
The day after holding a rally with 1,200 fervent supporters in Waterloo, the 50-year-old Laudner, Trump's Iowa state director, returned to Rockford to comb through thousands of new names gathered into his database of supporters.
|Former "The Apprentice" runner-up Tana Goetz now is the |
co-chair of Trump's Iowa campaign.
"We were filling bushel baskets of supporter names all summer long," Laudner said. "That was really the only instruction I had for the [campaign] team--don't stand still, be somewhere, everywhere, go into restaurants, talk to the person across the counter at the Casey's [General Store], go to local community events. If you have that Trump shirt or pin, it attracts attention."
Unlike a traditional primary where voters simply cast a ballot, the caucus is a process that requires supporters to spend several hours on a cold February night publicly siding with his or her chosen candidate at a specific location. Gaining the commitment of Iowans to turn out that night is every campaigns' challenge.
But what has defined the Iowa campaign of Trump, the untraditional candidate, is its evolution into a diligent, lively, hard-charging, traditional staff—the same group panned over the summer as ragtag and more hype than substance—that has already accumulated a hearty database of thousands of supporters that it believes will caucus and win Iowa for Trump.
"It's all about who you surround yourself with," said Cody Hoefert, the co-chair of the Iowa Republican Party. "[Trump] surrounded himself with strong folks in Iowa that know how to be successful in the Iowa caucuses. They're very passionate, very hardworking and active."
The campaign has 12 paid staffers, the most of any Republican operation in the state, comprised of an assortment of characters with varying pasts.
At the forefront of that infrastructure is state co-chair Tana Goertz, 48, a former runner-up on Trump's reality show "The Apprentice"and now a professional speaker and business coach in West Des Moines.
"I thought she was going to play a very important role and named her co-chair because she was going to reach so many people that a normal Republican organization just isn't going to reach," Laudner said.
Goertz appears frequently on national television, defending Mr. Trump—as she affectionately refers to the candidate—from his comments about Megyn Kelly to his resistance in pushing back questions about President Obama's faith. She is also the force behind the acclaimed "Trump Bus," the campaign's sponsorship of a Sprint Car in Knoxville, Iowa in August, and boisterous debate watch parties at a local sports bar.Read More . . . .