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RNC ramps up ground game to bolster Trump campaign in key states

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While Democrats consider more than 20 candidates hoping to become their party's nominee, the Republican National Committee is forging ahead with an August ground-game push to boost President Trump's reelection campaign in more than a dozen states. 

The RNC and the Trump Victory operation launched an "Open for Business" tour last week featuring more than 30 events across 17 states to highlight the administration's economic achievements and help GOP candidates in down-ballot races. 

In conjunction with the events hosted by surrogates, the joint operation has launched a six-figure digital ad buy targeting cities like Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, West Palm Beach, Miami and Las Vegas. The ads, which will appear primarily on Facebook and Google, tout the unemployment rate under Mr. Trump and the number of jobs created during his administration.

The unemployment rate has hovered around 3.7% in recent months, marking the lowest level of joblessness in decades. The unemployment rates for African Americans, Asians and Hispanics have hit their lowest point on record during Mr. Trump's presidency. 

The "Open for Business" tour kicked off last week in Iowa where the state GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann met with small business owners including farmers and representatives from agricultural industries to talk about the work Mr. Trump is doing to support them, according to an RNC official. 

Farmers have been hit particularly hard by Mr. Trump's trade war with China, and the Trump administration has doled out billions of dollars in subsidies to help mitigate the impact of retaliatory tariffs. The trade war and signs of a slowing economy have fueled fears of a looming recession in recent weeks, but an RNC official downplayed the likelihood of an economic downturn, arguing that Democrats are stoking fear to hurt the president politically.

Each event in the tour is catered to a key constituency based on the RNC "voter score" data. The data uses an individual's voter file, survey information, consumer data and voter contact results to predict a person's likelihood to vote. The "voter score" is used to suggest the type of event to hold.

For instance, in Las Vegas on Tuesday, former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt met with the Asian Chamber of Commerce, because Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up about 12% of Clark County's population, according to Census Bureau data

Some of the other surrogates the RNC is deploying during the tour include Arizona Senator Martha McSally, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Congressman Sean Duffy from Wisconsin.

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