The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Trump campaign came together early on to create the "Trump Victory" movement, a joint operation focused on getting the president re-elected and Republicans sent to Washington. One of the challenges the party has had to overcome is Big Tech's censorship and the mainstream media's blatant disregard for any stories that negatively impact Democrats or are positive toward President Trump. Just look at how the Hunter Biden story has been, by and large, squashed by the mainstream media. The primary way Trump Victory has succeeded in getting the message out there is through campaign surrogates being booked on various television shows across the nation, with the main emphasis being on local TV and radio.
The maneuver has allowed campaign surrogates to continually tout President Trump and the Republican Party's messages. It has proven to be effective in combatting the media's bias, especially when they cherrypick soundbites and clips. Surrogates are able to support major administration milestones, like Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation. This also gives the campaign the ability to inundate critical media markets in battleground states to ensure a Republican victory up and down the ballot on Election Day.
“The RNC has spent the past three years building a robust surrogate booking operation to get the President’s biggest defenders on TV and radio programs across the country. The tens of thousands of booked interviews have helped share the many historic successes of the Trump Administration with viewers and listeners in all 50 states," RNC Deputy Communications Director for Media Affairs, Johanna Persing, told Townhall. "Working with the campaign, this joint effort will continue to deploy hundreds of surrogates to the airwaves in the final hours of the campaign to make the contrast on the ballot even clearer for voters.”
The RNC invested more than $350 million in data that tracks key issues in every state, which allows their data and analytics team to closely monitor electorates and the issues that are important to them. It gives staffers an idea of what surrogates to send in and what topics they should hit, something that was especially effective last year in a number of key battleground states.
This year alone, Trump Victory has scheduled more than 23,000 interviews. That's almost four times as many as were conducted in 2016. During the 2018 midterm elections, 11,000 interviews were booked with the emphasis being on swing districts. Now that emphasis has shifted to the presidential swing states.
During Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation, Trump Victory scheduled over 900 interviews, ranging from her former law clerks, students, fellow Notre Dame law professors and other legal scholars. This nearly matched the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation process which took place over a longer period of time.
Throughout the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, surrogates have conducted more than 3,000 interviews touting the president's response. Top campaign surrogates were quickly set up with at home studios so they could continue conducting interviews despite state and local lockdowns.
Before the pandemic struck, campaign spokespeople would frequently conduct on-camera interviews at President Trump's MAGA rallies throughout the country.
The campaign also has focused on specialty media, like having a vigorous lineup with Mercedes Schlapp on Spanish language channels, such as Univision and Telemundo. Katrina Pierson frequently makes appearances in Black media outlets like Black News Channel and Armstrong Williams' TV show. Campaign co-chair Tommy Hicks frequently partakes in Asian American outlets and on digital platforms like The Skimm and MeatEater podcast.
Key campaign surrogates include:
First family: Don Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump and Kim Guilfoyle
RNC officials: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and RNC Co-Chair Tommy Hicks
Trump Victory spokespeople: Liz Harrington, Paris Dennard, Cassie Smedile, Hogan Gidley, Mercedes Schlapp, Erin Perrine and Tim Murtaugh
Black Voice for Trump Advisory Board Members: Vernon Jones, Diante Johnson, Leo Terrell, Stacy Washington, Deneen Borelli, Alveda King, Ken Blackwell, Marc Little and TW Shannon
Current elected officials: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Sens. Rick Scott (SC), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Reps. Debbie Lesko (AZ), Mike Johnson (LA), Fred Keller (PA), Matt Gaetz (FL), Jim Jordan (OH), Michael Burgess (TX), John Joyce (PA), Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Louisiana Attorney GeneralJeff Landry and Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez
GOP State Chairs: Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken, Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox, Florida Chairman Joe Gruters, California Chairwoman Jessica Patterson and Texas Chair Allen West.