Hi, Marla and thank you for taking the time to respond. I’m sorry if I sounded like he had NO ground game, because he did, but it seemed to be narrowly focused. He did in South Carolina, for example, and he did in New Hampshire but I read a lot of complaints from volunteers in places like SEC primary states and Washington DC that they had plenty of volunteers but no campaign materials.
And yes, he did purchase airtime, probably more than he wanted to. I think, though, that Trump ended up getting much more of the earned media than anyone had planned on and I also believe there might have been an under-appreciation of regional media. If Trump is getting all the national media, shift to regional. There are regional stations that are carried on cable systems. WBZ and WGBH out of Boston are carried all over New England including New Hampshire and Rhode Island. I think the notion of one candidate sucking up what amounts to nearly 100% of the earned media that early in a campaign cycle is unprecedented and caught the campaign off guard. Quickly shifting to regional media might have mitigated that somewhat but might not have been an option on such a short fuse.