Front runner for the GOP ticket in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s campaign, which has faced doubts about its ability to translate enthusiasm into votes, in the past few weeks quietly signed an agreement allowing it to use the Republican National Committee’s massive voter file. According to the Politico, the list-sharing agreement, which reveals a new level of cooperation between the GOP and its surprise front-runner, could be highly beneficial to both sides. For the Trump campaign, it means access to a database containing a trove of information on more than 200 million Americans, which can be used to power a get-out-the-vote effort. And for the RNC, it means that any information Trump collects from his supporters, many of whom are not traditional Republicans, will be fed back into the database for future use by the party and its candidates.
Trump will not pay for the data
The list-sharing agreement doesn’t require Trump’s campaign to pay for access to the voter data, but it does suggest that Trump’s campaign has invested at least some cash in a data operation. That’s because the RNC requires campaigns to demonstrate a certain level of technical aptitude before such deals are executed. The RNC also requires candidates seeking to enter list-sharing agreements to vow to support the party’s eventual nominee. The RNC initially offered its file to Trump not long after he declared his candidacy in June, and it’s unclear what caused the delay in executing the agreement.
Trump may not honor the agreement
The RNC agreement, similar to others signed by past Republican presidential nominees, may require that the candidate who signs eventually support the Republican nominee—no matter who they may be. Trump, however, has hinted many a time that he may run on an independent ticket if not nominated by the GOP. How the voter file access will help or hinder Trump’s campaign is still unknown, but the outcome may only be gleaned by close, unending observations of the ongoing Republican presidential campaign.