(USA Features) As the 2020 presidential campaigns begin to temporarily shutter field operations in response to the spreading coronavirus (COVID-19), officials associated with President Donald Trump’s reelection bid believe he will maintain an advantage because of an extensive “virtual” infrastructure built over the past year.
“This situation helps Trump a great deal,” Jim Dornan, a Republican strategist, told the Washington Examiner. “The voter contact his campaign is doing is so technologically advanced, it’s going to make it even harder for the Democrats to catch up.”
The 2020 Trump campaign came into the year having built a massive infrastructure throughout 2019 including a vast field and data program involving more than 800 paid staffers and volunteers deployed in key battleground states.
Even with the transition to a virtual campaigning to avoid excessive person-to-person contact in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus, GOP insiders believe that Trump’s eventual Democratic challenger will start the election cycle with a big operational hole.
Trump campaign officials said they were halting all field operations for the time being, including having campaign volunteers go door-to-door to identify his supporters.
“A previously planned ‘national week of training’ to fine-tune the Trump campaign’s ground game in conjunction with primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio was still set to kick off Saturday,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Instead of the preferred method of personal contact, the Trump campaign said it would rely on its “Army for Trump” website and related smartphone app, as well as texting, to get messages to supporters.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Trump is already in the White House and will still have the bully pulpit of the Oval Office.
“With our field organization largely built out and over half a million volunteers already engaged, we are in an incredibly strong position to activate an aggressive digital and virtual political operation,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
None of the Democratic contenders still in the 2020 race have secured enough delegates yet to lay claim to the nomination as of yet, though former Vice President Joe Biden has a sizable lead on the next closest candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.