Some Republicans fear a ‘skeleton’ campaign, so Trump is cautious to invest in key states. (Part-1)

New York— Few states are as promising for Donald Trump's White House bid as Michigan. In 2020, President Joe Biden regained the state for Democrats, but he has challenges there as he seeks reelection. Trump's team promised a strong swing-state effort for Michigan.

Currently, those pledges seem mostly rhetoric. According to Michigan Republican Party Chairman Pete Hoekstra, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have not made major general election investments in the state. He added the national committee hasn't given the state party any money for the general election. No programs target minority voters. General election field staff are absent.

Hoekstra: “We’ve got the skeleton right now. “We need to add more meat.” Republican operatives and campaign planners say it's similar in presidential battleground states nationwide.

Despite being acclaimed for its professionalism and efficacy during the 2024 primary, Trump's political operation has been hesitant to move toward the general election in the weeks after executing a hostile takeover of the Republican Party's national campaign machinery. The former president's team has reversed previous plans to hire hundreds of workers and dozens of minority-outreach centers in important states without providing an alternative.

Just six months before early voting in the general election between Trump and Biden, Trump's Republican Party has no general election infrastructure. Local officials in important swing states are not panicking, but the Biden campaign is far behind.

According to campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa, Biden established 100 new offices and hired over 350 new staffers in swing states like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania this month. The Democratic president already had 100 battleground-state staff members.

Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita, who now runs RNC operations, declined to discuss Republican campaign preparations. “By joining forces, the Trump campaign and the RNC are deploying operations fueled by passionate volunteers focused on saving America and firing Joe Biden,” he stated. We do not feel required to communicate our plan, timing, or methods with the media.

Trump and state Republican officials may be planning behind closed doors. A few Michigan Republican officials traveled to Florida last week to speak privately with Trump and his senior campaign team on general election plans. Hoekstra was one of them. Hoekstra was enthusiastic about the former president's state commitment after the conversation.

Trump replaced Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel with his own leadership team, including daughter-in-law Lara Trump as RNC co-chair. As the committee's head of staff, LaCivita pledged nationwide GOP political infrastructure upgrades.

Over 60 Republican staffers nationwide were laid go in the days that followed. They included most RNC minority outreach community center workers and State Parties Strategies staff. “There was never a fully cohesive bond between the Trump campaign and the RNC in the past, and we are now operating as one entity,” Lara Trump said Tuesday on David Webb's SiriusXM Patriot station. A lot of fat was cut.”

Lara Trump has pledged to keep the committee's six community centers operating despite internal opposition to some changes. However, Trump's administration may not follow McDaniel's plans to open 40 more community centers in the coming months.

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