The man behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s “formidable” ground game in Iowa, Chuck Laudner, calls Trump’s presidential campaign “the greatest anti-establishment campaign of all time.”
“I think what may surprise people is not that we’re mass communicating and that we’re having success,” Laudner told NBC News. “Honest to God, I think what shocks them is that we’re having so damn much fun doing it. We don’t have bad days.”
NBC News profiled Laudner and his plan for Trump to win over Hawkeye state voters. Laudner is a veteran in GOP politics – having helped Sen. Rick Santorum win Iowa in 2012, served as Iowa’s state Republican Party executive director, was Chief of Staff for Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and the state director for Steve Forbes in 2000, who ended up finishing second.
“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 Republican operative in Iowa said to NBC News.
“[Chuck Laudner] knows how to build a database. He knows how to organize grassroots. And he talks their language,” the source told NBC News. “He is a deity among conservative grassroots.”
Trump’s campaign team in Iowa has 12 paid employees – the largest out of any GOP campaign in Iowa.
According to NBC News, Lauder is working on identifying how many voters the team will target to caucus for Trump in order for the billionaire businessman to walk away with a win. With 1,682 counties in Iowa, Laudner explains, “Let’s say we need 40 votes in whatever precinct—[the designated Trump precinct captain] will say, ‘Here’s the 40 people who are going to vote for Trump.'”
NBC News reported Trump has visited Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo, Davenport and Ames. The next campaign venture is into 33 other counties that Trump plans to hit next.
“The campaign has held events in small towns in the state, like Oskaloosa (10,000 population) and Winterset (5,000 pop.)—but even those turned into rallies unusual for those towns. Ted Cruz stopped in Oskaloosa on Wednesday but went to Smokey Row Coffee, a more modest, normal candidate stop in town with about 150 people—compared to the more than 1,000 that filled an auditorium for the frontrunner.”
Laudner is now preparing the first campaign mailer that will coincide with Trump’s first campaign television ads in the state.