Crowd sourcing a campaign

By Seth Ogilvie, Idaho Reports

Donald Trump isn’t your average Presidential candidate, and he isn’t your typical debater. The pundit class has been speculating wildly about what Trump may or may not do as he enters the first debate of the season with Hillary Clinton on Monday. If you’ve donated to the Trump campaign, you might have some control over what he does.

A survey sent out to Trump supporters this week reads like a choose-your-own-adventure for the debate with 30 questions that will guide Trump through the event. “Should Trump continue to describe himself as an outsider ready to take on the gridlock, corruption, and waste of Washington?” Donate ten dollars to the Trump campaign and you could choose yes or no. (Or just use this link.)

Don’t think control over the debate is enough and want to decide how the campaign is run? Use this link and give your input: “What kind of ads should we air in key battleground states?”

At a press conference in Boise on Thursday, Donald Trump Jr said they had “1/10th the staff, probably 1/10th the budget” of the Clinton campaign, but it would appear as though they are trying to increase the decision-making exponentially.

For years, campaigns have done push surveys, and data mined voters to find out what they are passionate about. But directly asking their donors and supporters exactly what the should do and how they should debate is rare.  Donald Trump claims to simply be a voice of the movement in the email message, saying “As your champion, I need to know what you want me to fight for on that stage.”

A candidate entering a major presidential debate without already knowing what they want to fight for might not be new, but a campaign willing to turn that decision over to the internet (or at least give the appearance of such) is novel.

Trump has been called the first reality television candidate, and we all knew we’d be able to vote one of them off the island in November. But now, you’re able to vote on what Trump will do when you watch this unique reality program called democracy on television Monday.


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