Trump campaign launching ‘extremely aggressive operation’ in final stretch to Iowa caucuses

Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign says it’s shifting into a higher gear with less than six weeks to go until Iowa’s caucuses kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar.

“We have an extremely aggressive operation and an extremely aggressive schedule,” Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita told , as he pointed towards the final stretch leading up to the Jan. 15 contest in Iowa.

LaCivita spoke as he accompanied the former president to Davenport, Iowa on Tuesday, where Trump sat down with Fox News’ primetime host Sean Hannity for a town hall.

“The last couple of weeks, we’ll be blitzing” Trump touted at the end of the town hall. “We’re up by like 30 or 40 points but we’re not taking any chances.”

The former president — the commanding front-runner in the GOP nomination race as he makes his third straight White House run — has been picking up the frequency of his Iowa stops in recent weeks.

Trump enjoys a very large double-digit lead in the most recent public opinion surveys in Iowa’s GOP caucuses over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — the ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration — who are fighting for second place in the Republican race in the Hawkeye State.

LaCivita previewed that the Trump campaign is planning a slew of Iowa visits not only from the former president but also from “dozens of surrogates that are going to be storming the state campaigning… in every venue that has people.”

He said there were “close to 1500-1600 precinct captains throughout the state that, literally, their sole job is to run each individual caucus that takes place and making sure that the list of the targeted voters supporting President Trump show up.”

LaCivita, a veteran Republican consultant with over three decades of campaign experience, highlighted “the sheer volume of information that we have on caucus voters who’ve voted in the past, potential caucus voters. It’s an enormous amount of data. And this is very much a data-driven operation.”

Trump’s Tuesday town hall in Iowa came three days after he was last in the state, to headline caucus organizing events.

DeSantis was also in the state on Saturday as he accomplished his goal of stopping in all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

At his event Saturday in Jasper County, he was joined by popular Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who endorsed him in early November.

Also teaming up with DeSantis was Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The Family Leader, an influential social conservative organization in a state where evangelical voters play an outsized role in Republican politics. Vander Plaats endorsed DeSantis the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving.

DeSantis has repeatedly vowed he’ll pull off an upset by winning Iowa.

While Trump has hosted roughly 20 events in Iowa this year, the Florida governor has made around 130 stops, many of them hosted by the DeSantis-aligned super PAC Never Back Down. Additionally, the super PAC has spent millions to put together a formidable ground game in Iowa.

However, what once appeared to be a two-candidate fight for the nomination is now a three-way battle.

Haley, who has enjoyed momentum in the polls in recent months, thanks in part to well-received performances in the first three GOP presidential primary debates, has leapfrogged DeSantis for second place in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and votes second in the Republican nominating schedule, and her home state, which holds the first southern contest.

She aims to make a fight of it in Iowa, where she is pulling even with DeSantis in some of the latest polls.

Last week, Haley landed the backing of Americans for Prosperity Action, the political wing of the influential and deep-pocketed fiscally conservative network founded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. AFP Action has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars and mobilize its formidable grassroots operation to boost Haley and help push the Republican Party past Trump.

Asked if the DeSantis and Haley get-out-the-vote efforts rival the Trump campaign’s operation, LaCivita argued “they don’t come close.”

“All we have to do is turn out our vote. That’s it,” LaCivita said. “Our base is solid. The amount of extra people we have to convince is negligible.”

Pointing to DeSantis and Haley, he said they “have to convince people to vote for them, vote against us, and then they have to turn them out… that’s not easy.”

Trump made history earlier this year as the first former or current president to be indicted for a crime, but his four indictments — including in federal court in Washington, D.C., and in Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss — have only fueled his support among Republican voters.

But Trump’s campaign says it’s not taking anything for granted.

Looking ahead to the final stretch leading up to the caucuses, LaCivita said “our only concern is complacency.”