FiveThirtyEight.com has compiled a detailed look at where the presidential campaigns and parties are setting up field offices for organizing and get out the vote efforts.
In 2012, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s campaigns opened their field offices strategically: Obama focused most offices on mobilizing Democrats in his “core” counties, while putting offices in “swing” and Republican areas equally. Romney invested equally in core Republican counties and swing counties, while generally avoiding heavily Democratic areas.
In 2016, like in 2012, it is not close. Clinton has nearly three times the number of field offices as Trump nationwide (489 vs. 178), and her organization dominates Trump’s in every battleground state. Clinton’s offices outnumber Trump’s by 19 in New Hampshire, 23 in Iowa and Colorado, and 28 in North Carolina. In the states where Trump has opened the most offices, such as Pennsylvania (35), Florida (21) and Ohio (25), Clinton’s advantage tends to be even larger: She bests him by 22 offices in Pennsylvania, 47 in Florida and 50 in Ohio. Trump’s ground game is far from nonexistent, but his campaign simply does not have the infrastructure to match Clinton’s capabilities for voter contact and mobilization.
Trump has eight offices in the Tar Heel State. Most are found near population centers that are friendly to Clinton, such as the counties containing Charlotte (which Obama carried with 60.7 percent of the vote in 2012), Asheville (55.3 percent for Obama), and Raleigh (54.9 percent). Clinton’s campaign, on the other hand, has the Democratic-leaning and voter-rich counties containing Durham (75.8 percent for Obama), Fayetteville (59.4 percent) and Greensboro (57.7 percent) to themselves. Romney opened offices in all of these counties in 2012, but Trump is leaving them uncontested on the ground.