A test run of one of Donald Trump's most important voter-contact programs was abruptly shut down over the July 4 weekend, potentially costing the president millions of dollars in donations and raising alarms about whether the initiative will face roadblocks in the run-up to the election.
“A campaign’s email and text messaging list are some of the most important assets they have in 2020,” said Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist who worked on Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign, adding that it was “really very concerning to see that such a significant issue happened and to see that it wasn’t resolved in a timely manner.”
“Peer-to-peer texting has quickly become a critical tool for Republicans and Democrats. Both sides agree, it's going to lead to more Americans voting, a great thing for our country,” said Gary Coby, the Trump campaign’s digital director. “There is bipartisan commitment to continue working with mobile carriers and the entire mobile messaging industry to ensure the channel remains open and secure.”
Tim Cameron, a digital strategist who worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said, “I understand that telecom might want to change “But those changes should take place after the election.— Vincent Gioia (@Vgerard1935) July 21, 2020
I also requested them AND they have a CLEAR opt-out! This is essentially war against the Trump campaign. You can fight it by giving an extra and LARGE donation. That's what I'm doing! pic.twitter.com/C5puYDabHU— CSharpner (@csharpner) July 21, 2020
Anti-spam programs at major cell phone companies AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon halted President Trump’s text voter-contact program over the July 4 weekend after the program sent 1 million patriotic-themed text messages https://t.co/57P2GyB7ke— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 20, 2020
This has the potential to be QUITE significant. Many campaigns rely heavily on peer-to-peer text messaging, especially for organizing. Particularly a big blow to campaigns that rely on moving people, not just big checks, to win elections. Also fundraising implications, for sure. https://t.co/2FDIJinwfa— Tim Tagaris (@ttagaris) July 20, 2020
@POTUS @parscale @RichardGrenell @BlackVoices4DJT @BrandonStraka @WomenforTrump @NYYRC @cpnys @RepVernonJones You just can't help but be reminded of '16 county-by-county national map showing @POTUS with better coverage than Verizon. pic.twitter.com/Nl34zZYhxa— Hynedsight (@hynedsight) July 20, 2020