With less than eight weeks to go, Republicans across the Sunshine State are placing all their chips behind “Trump Victory.”
State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida readily told Florida Daily, “Donald Trump is our party,”
Gruters spoke exclusively with Florida Daily about the GOP push to get the president reelected and why Trump’s supporters, including the Republican National Committee (RNC), have formed the group “Trump Victory” to make that happen.
“The RNC has spent tens of millions of dollars fine-tuning and going through the data to make sure it is the best it can possibly be so that we are maximizing our time, energy and resources on targeting the people we need to target,” Gruters told Florida Daily, describing the digital data effort as the best the party has ever had.
Trump’s supporters are also planning to create an excellent ground game with Gruters pointing out there are three times as many staffers as this time four years ago, including one in all 67 counties across the state.
“This is the largest organized effort that the state of Florida has ever seen and it is because the RNC and the Trump campaign, and the Republican Party of Florida has been working together since 2016,” Gruters said.
Trump Victory is a collaboration between the RPOF, the Trump campaign, and the RNC. The latter provides the money and data support while Gruters mans the operation.
“They are all RPOF staffers but it is the Trump Victory arm of our party and that is where that seamless comes in because we are all working together as a single team,” Gruters explained.
There have been some complaints from Trump supporters though as some of them have tried to create their own organizations to help the president. At one point, the RPOF sent out an email against Trump Team Florida 2020, calling the other group’s mailings “unsanctioned” and insisting its leader Annie Marie Delgado has been “dishonest about her organization.”
Gruters dismissed the controversy, “At the end of the day, we have a campaign organization. We have a structure,” he said.
The RPOF chairman said he appreciates any help he can get but noted that Delgado is not in contact or coordinating with the Trump campaign–but Trump Victory is.
For her part, Delgado is far from finished. She’s already filed a grievance against Gruters, accusing him of violating his oath of office as chairman of the RPOF, calling his leadership of the party “disastrous.” She said her group is taking action she believes the GOP will not.
“When Andrew Gillum announced in April of 2019 that he had become a third party voter registrant and…was going to register a million Democrats in the state of Florida, I waited to see what the response would be from Joe Gruters and the RPOF,” she said. “There was none.”
Both of these groups are using the Trump name especially when Gruters told Florida Daily that “Donald Trump is our party.” He said he expects the race to be a close one.
“It is a toss-up. This election is going to come down to 100,000 votes either way,” Gruters said.
Gruters said is fully aware of what is at stake in Florida.
“We know we cannot win the White House without winning Florida,” he said before turning his fire to Democrats for trying to win a campaign “from a basement.”
Gruters also offered some of the reasons he called Trump the party.
“He has a larger than life personality. He’s almost singlehandedly battling ‘the Swamp’ and is saving our country from socialism and more government control by campaigning and literally running the country on a freedom and liberty ticket,” Gruters said.
Gruters said he believes this is an election that will be won or lost based on which party can turn out more of their voters with very few voters open to persuasion.
Reach Mike Synan at email@example.com.