If you don’t know the name Brad Parscale, I bet you will by 2020.
He is largely credited as one of the biggest factors in securing Trump’s win in 2016, yet back then he flew under the radar and caught everyone by surprise.
This next election might not be as easy.
But what he lacks in the element of surprise, he more than makes up for in experience and money and power heading into 2020.
According to MagaNews:
President Trump’s reelection campaign light years ahead of his rivals. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale says “by Election Day 2020 we will have spent nearly three years building the most powerful campaign ever seen in politics. We will have the ability to contact directly with nearly every Trump voter in some method.”
Here's more on Parscale and the "secret weapon" for the Trump Campaign in 2020, from The Hill:
A new Democratic Congress, a lost shutdown battle, a criminal investigation closing in on his inner circle — by all accounts, many would think that President Donald Trump is on a clear path to defeat in the next presidential election. But if you look at the massive organization his campaign is building online, it’s Trump who’s already winning 2020.
As someone who has run Democratic communications and media programs that focus on reaching and mobilizing voters online, what Trump has been able to build for his reelection campaign terrifies me. It has also made me a firm believer that unless Democrats recognize our own strategic shortcomings and tactical disadvantages, we may never win back the White House or build long-term progressive power.
We currently live in a time of political, social and technological disruption. The last time Democrats had a broad bench of candidates running for president, Twitter didn’t exist and the iPhone was one year old. Since then, the explosion of social media and mobile apps have transformed how we live our lives and how political elections are won or lost. Donald Trump’s campaign has taken advantage of these changes to build a highly strategic reelection campaign that any potential 2020 candidate should pay attention to:
His campaign manager is a “digital guy”
By elevating Brad Parscale (his 2016 Digital Director) to Campaign Manager, Trump is signaling that digital won’t just have a seat at the table — it will be an integral piece of every aspect of his reelection bid. From prioritizing digital channels over traditional paid media to leveraging social media platforms to fire up his base and raise money, he is utilizing a modern playbook to win.
Building massive lists through digital investments
For months (even before the 2018 midterm elections), Donald Trump’s campaign has consistently been a top political spender on Facebook focused on acquiring voter data and building potential supporter lists. Over the past few weeks, for example, Trump’s campaign spent a combined $778,000 on Facebook ads alone. That’s compared to $194,000 that Kamala Harris spent on Facebook the week she launched her presidential campaign and just $99,000 Elizabeth Warren spent over the last three weeks combined.
Defining the narrative
Trump's campaign has excelled at leveraging digital ad dollars to keep the controversies surrounding the Trump administration from reaching his supporter base online. Take the border wall and shutdown debate: In the days leading up to Trump’s primetime address this month, his campaign purchased the YouTube masthead ad space to drive their message.
Those ads reached tens of millions of voters in the most highly trafficked ad space available online, seen by every person who visits the YouTube homepage.
Coupled with President Trump’s own tweets, thousands of Facebook ads placed by his reelection campaign, and dozens of conservative “media outlets” driving the same narrative, Trump’s chosen message blanketed the feeds and phones of voters nationwide. Democrats, on the other hand, ran just a few hundred ads online leading up to the speech to push their own messages, paling in comparison to the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars the Trump organization and conservative media organizations leveraged online to capitalize on the moment.
Where do Democrats go from here?
There’s no denying that Democrats are entering the 2020 race at a disadvantage. However there are ways we can make up for this lost ground if we make a conscious effort to do so.
First, Democrats need to prioritize digital strategies. Democrats need to recognize that people increasingly live most every aspect of their lives — from the people they talk to, to the media they consume — online. So every aspect of a campaign must meet voters online as well as off.
Democrats must center their campaigns around digital talent and strategies. The investment in digital advertising can’t be an add-on to television budgets, but must be at parity with them.
Organizations also must see digital not simply as a way to raise money, but as a strategy to build networks of organizers and supporters who will amplify their messages and reach voters through the people they trust and listen to. That is how a campaign will build a movement that will carry them to victory.
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And from The Guardian:
A strong economy with joblessness at its lowest rate for nearly half a century. A new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. Hopes of peace in the Korean peninsula. No major terrorist attacks on the homeland. A week that began with cheers at the White House for a new supreme court justice and ended with the release of an American pastor from jail in Turkey.
An alien who landed in Washington today might be forgiven for assuming the president is a highly successful leader, wildly popular with the public. But then someone would have to patiently explain, “Let me tell you about Donald Trump …”
Opponents accuse Trump of trading in misogyny, racism, mendacity, crassness and chaos, as painfully documented by authors Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward. They also contend that the policy wins listed above are hollow. An economy built on Barack Obama’s foundations, tax cuts that favour the rich, mounting national debt; a supreme court nominee rammed through in a show of contempt for women; a love-in with North Korea’s dictator; self-destructive trade wars and a surrender of global leadership.
Nevertheless, like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher, Trump has already passed the test of making himself consequential and handing his conservative supporters a narrative. Liberal-baiting cheerleaders include White House counsel Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Sarah Sanders and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, the author of books such as Understanding Trump and Trump’s America: The Truth about Our Nation’s Great Comeback.
“I think by any reasonable standard it’s been amazing,” Gingrich told the Guardian, pointing to bigger economic growth, bigger deregulation and more federal court appointments than he said anyone thought possible two years ago.
He is stunningly effective. You have to say to yourself, 'He may not be perfect but boy, does he get a lot done.’Newt Gingrich
“He now dominates his party more decisively than anyone in modern times on the Republican side, which would not have seemed plausible two years ago. He’s got to fight a very hard-fought midterm election but he has a lot of pluses on his side right now.”
In July, even Gingrich spoke out against Trump’s performance in Helsinki, when he appeared to take Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s word about election interference at the expense of his own intelligence agencies.
But the Republican elder continued, “Trump is an 80% historic figure and 20% the product of reality TV. That’s who he is; he’s not going to change.
“But he is stunningly effective. You have to say to yourself, ‘He may not be perfect but boy, does he get a lot done.’ At the rate he’s currently going, he will be one of the most consequential American presidents. He will certainly be in a league with people like Andrew Jackson or FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt].”
Gingrich is confident Trump will win again in 2020.
“Unless something terrible happens to the economy, he’ll be re-elected. Anybody who watched him take apart 16 Republicans and Hillary Clinton and the elite media should ask themselves, ‘What will Trump be like as candidate when he has all the advantages of the presidency and he only has to beat one Democrat?’ I suspect he will be pretty impressive.”
“If you look at the level of dishonesty in the New York Times or CNN, he’s virtually compelled. He’s in a war with them. They are the other team. They don’t even pretend to be neutral. The day after the inaugural there was a mass rally of leftwingers in which Madonna said she dreams of the White House being bombed.”