Some Republicans fear a ‘skeleton’ campaign, so Trump is cautious to invest in key states. (Part-2)

The centers helped the GOP build contacts with minority groups who had traditionally voted Democratic but may be sympathetic to populism. Advocates say such efforts have had a big influence in previous years, especially in tight House districts where a few thousand votes might matter.

“It seems that there’s a consensus that community centers are vital for the Republican Party in general,” said California RNC member Shawn Steel, who credited a Little Saigon community center with helping his wife, Rep. Michelle Steele, R-Calif., win office.

Steel claimed that Democrats have effectively engaged minority groups since Tammany Hall in New York City over two centuries ago. “We’re trying to catch up,” Steel added. “Optimistic.” Trump's staff is rewriting the party's 2024 battleground-state strategy after burning the old one, so confidence is tempered by uncertainty.

According to people with direct knowledge of the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations, Trump's lieutenants have postponed plans to start adding hundreds of Republican staffers in presidential battleground states this month.

If and when field staff will arrive is unknown. Recently laid-off workers are applying for new jobs, but some must move to Florida or other places. Georgia GOP Chair Joshua McKoon said he has met with RNC leadership regarding “the deployment of additional resources” to his state, but no date has been set.

“What wins elections is having the staff to carry out your get-out-the-vote plan, so that's what I'm most interested in,” McKoon said. “I expect to have further discussions in the very near future about the timeline and having more specifics.” He continued, “I feel like we’re going to have what we need.”

Amid a growing feeling of urgency, newly elected RNC Chair Michael Whatley wrote to party officials over the weekend that the committee is “building on our existing programs and expanding our outreach at the RNC.” He promised to “re-engage America’s working voters,” engage rural voters, and boost Trump’s support “with demographics who have not traditionally voted for our candidates...”

The committee's State Parties Strategies branch will engage with “auxiliary Republican groups and other grassroots organizations” in addition to state parties under a new battleground-state initiative, but Whatley did not provide details.

When asked which grassroots organizations Whatley meant, Trump's team did not respond, but the chairman had aggressively courted Turning Point USA leaders before his recent election, a leading group in Trump's “Make America Great Again” movement that had ousted McDaniel.

Lara Trump tweeted “Awesome!” on Tuesday, citing Turning Point founder and CEO Charlie Kirk's post on organizing “full-time ballot chasers” in Arizona and other states. Earlier this month, Biden's team launched a $30 million six-week advertising blitz targeting swing-state voters, focusing on Black and Hispanic-owned outlets and “culture and sports programming such as Comedy Central and ESPN.”

He recently campaigned in Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Trump visited North Carolina on Tuesday, demonstrating his interest in a state he narrowly won in 2020. However, Trump has been mostly absent this month save for court appearances.

Moussa, Biden's spokesman, chastised Trump for “apparently hiding at his country club” in the general election. “The RNC fires staff, closes community centers, and ends minority outreach programs. Not exactly how to win American hearts and minds or 270 electoral votes, Moussa added.

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