Following an Associated Press report suggesting presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is “critically behind” likely Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton “on cutting-edge voter data,” the Republican National Committee (RNC) is striking back, saying it’s the Democrats who “are playing catch up.”
RNC national spokesperson Lindsay Walters told Breitbart News:
Under Chairman Priebus, the RNC has invested tens of millions into enhancing the Party’s digital, data, and technology, building on decades of data infrastructure. As the nominee, Donald Trump will inherit this data operation as well as our field program that has been in the field permanently since 2013. We’ve been in field, contacting voters, and fine tuning our field and data operations for over 1,000 days, while Democrats have just started to focus on the general election. By any measure Democrats are playing catch up.
Walters’ statement comes after the Associated Press reported that a source within the GOP says Trump is behind Clinton “by months, even years, in using fast-evolving digital campaigning to win over voters.”
The Associated Press notes:
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has dismissed the science that defines 21st century political campaigns, a tool that President Barack Obama used effectively in winning two terms and the Clinton campaign has worked on for nearly a year.
And while it is too early to tell whether the late start signals trouble for Trump, it illustrates the difference between Trump’s proudly outsider campaign and the institutional knowledge within Clinton’s.
The report adds that Clinton has been collecting voter data for the past 11 months, but Trump has spent less than half of a million on voter data functions like telemarketing.
The Associated Press adds:
Trump’s challenge may be even more difficult, said Andy Burkett, the Republican National Committee’s former chief technology officer.
As the party’s nominee, Trump will have full use of the committee’s data program, in which it has invested heavily in recent years. Still, capitalizing on that resource will require Trump’s campaign to view data as central to its bid — and to put its own money behind it to tailor the data to preferences related to would-be Trump voters.
The Republican National Committee has recently added data scientists to its staff to assist with the general election. Also, an RNC data specialist first began working directly with the Trump campaign this month. But it takes time to turn raw data into meaningful models, Barkett said.
Breitbart News learned the RNC is providing data benefits to drive Trump’s ground game and voter information programs. That information will be shared between the RNC and Trump’s campaign.