The question of whether or not Trump is going to rely on the RNC's generic GOTV/data operation has now apparently been answered.
Or, "Trump gotta be Trump":
But in a break from recent major party nominees, Trump does not plan to invest heavily in a data-driven effort to target voters in the fall campaign. Despite pressure, the [m]illionaire businessman also does not expect to release his tax returns before the November election.
“There’s nothing to learn from them,” Trump told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. He’s cited an ongoing audit of his finances as the main reason for withholding the information, and also has said he doesn’t believe voters are interested. …
Think there might be a connection there? Like maybe he isn't a "b"illionaire after all and it isn't that he's being a cheapskate on his general election campaign but that he literally can't afford a ground game, and releasing his past twelve years of tax returns would expose that?
“My best investment is my rallies,” Trump said. “The people go home, they tell their friends they loved it. It’s been good.”
Sure - in the primaries. That's penny ante stuff compared to a general election campaign.
The businessman said he’ll spend “limited” money on data operations to identify and track potential voters and to model various turnout scenarios that could give him the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. He’s moving away from the model Obama used successfully in his 2008 and 2012 wins, and which [Mrs.] Clinton is trying to replicate, including hiring many of the staff that worked for Obama. [emphasis added]
Captain Ed poses the question this morning, "Not only does this look like a risky choice, it also looks like an unnecessary one. Why not do both?" One answer to which I mentioned above - he probably can't afford it, even though he isn't self-funding like he famously promised he would - and the other being that, well, "Trump gotta be Trump". It's the same reason that he had no appreciable ground game in the primaries and was getting trounced in the "shadow primary" of delegate recruitment by Ted Cruz: Data geekery and voter tracking and GOTV ops and ground-up grassroots "peer-to-peer" contacting is (1) boring to Trump and (2) takes the spotlight off of him. He's "investing" in his Nuremberg-esque pagentry spectacles and national media strategy because his Cheeto-colored mug will be smeared all over them. Remember how he wants to speak every single night of the GOP convention from a different city? If he can't be the star and center of idolatrous attention, he simply isn't interested.
This could create problems for his George Soros hack fundraiser. First, because big-ticket Republican donors are going to be reluctant to be fleeced by the New York liberal conman anyway given that his penchant for radioactive gaffery is a feature of his campaign, not a bug, and second and more to the point, the previous two GOP presidential bids - John McCain's and Mitt Romney's - also lacked ground games and were dependent on top-down, one-size-fits-all national media messaging. The Obama model, to put it bluntly, works, and has been consecutively proven to work, or the RNC would not have created a generic GOTV data apparatus after the 2012 defeat in the first place. One that Mrs. Clinton will be, successfully, using over the next six months.
To those who say that Trump can make that failed model work "because he's Donald Trump, and he's AWWWWWWESOME!"....
“You win the pennant and now you’re in the World Series — you gonna change?” Trump said. “People like the way I’m doing.” He argued that he stood a better chance of inspiring voters in States like Ohio and Pennsylvania if he was his authentic self, rather than shifting from populist outsider to political insider to please a relative handful of Republican elites who are part of the establishment he has railed against for months. He said his huge rallies, where outbursts of violence and racist taunts have vexed many Republican leaders, and his attacks against adversaries on Twitter and in television interviews would continue because he believes Americans admire his aggressive, take-charge style.
....I will simply remind them of how that "aggressive, take-charge style" has made his general election "brand" toxic with the nine-tenths of the electorate beyond his personality cult:
Trump tapped into something, all right. But the tide of grievance, resentment, and white identity politics he rode to the nomination is a drop in the general-election bucket.
The problem is that none of this happened in a vacuum. What sells to a plurality of the GOP primary electorate is not necessarily compatible with the general-election marketplace. It’s not that the rest of the country has yet to be introduced to Trump the candidate; it’s that they watched the primary in horror, and now they can’t stand him. Trump made huge gains among a subset of GOP voters by saying things that now render him untouchable among the broader electorate. The Archie Bunker routine that succeeded among a subset of the Right is precisely what put him in his current hole. It turns out that what revs the GOP engine is repellent to everyone else.
This isn’t the mystery method. It’s not #persuasion. And it isn’t 3-D chess. It’s a demagogue who won a primary election by throwing away the general election. And that’s the irony: The Trump of May 2015, the apolitical celebrity, could have made things interesting. Instead he mortgaged everything to win the hearts and minds of 40% of 25% of the country. His wild-card potential has been negated by his uncanny George Wallace impression these past ten months. No matter how hard he shakes the Etch-A-Sketch over the summer, the airwaves will be saturated with his incendiary words — and that’s before the Dems even start on his suspect business record, his hucksterism, and stories of the people who suffered in his wake.
And now he has declared that he won't be shaking that Etch-A-Sketch one jot or tittle.
And you know what? It WILL be AWWWWWWSOME!....for Hillary Clinton.