Star of Trump’s 2016 Digital Strategy Fades in Changed World

July 16, 2020

This spring, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale gave the operation he had been building for the last three years a nickname: the Death Star. “It is firing on all cylinders. Data, Digital, TV, Political, Surrogates, Coalitions, etc. In a few days we start pressing FIRE for the first time,” he wrote on Twitter Inc.


Now the Trump campaign is in a deep slump, for reasons that have less to do with campaign tactics and more to do with the president’s performance on the coronavirus. “I think the shake-up is to be expected. Indeed, the only surprise here is that it has taken this long,” said Steven Livingston, the founding director at the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University. “It can be explained by two words: Tulsa and polls,” he said, referencing the president’s poorly-attended campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

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