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Trump's Getting Serious

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at West High School in Sioux City, Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at West High School in Sioux City, Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Noah Rothman reports:

In what looked like a coordinated effort on the part of Team Trump to swamp a dispiriting news cycle focused on the candidate’s declining poll numbers on Monday night, both CNN and the Boston Globe published extensive dispatches detailing the increasing sophistication of Trump’s early state ground game.

Of the GOP operatives Globe reporter Matt Viser spoke with in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, few were impressed with any of the Republican presidential candidates’ financial or organizational commitments. That is, except for Trump. The Globe revealed that the celebrity candidate has spent $1 million in the early states — far more than any of his rivals — and recently opened two new campaign offices in New Hampshire. Though Viser was not allowed to tour those offices or speak with aides, his report revealed a surprising devotion to creating a formidable operation.

Trump has hired Chuck Laudner, the Iowa-based political operative who engineered Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind 2012 victory in Iowa, and now has captains in place in all of Iowa’s 1,800 precincts. What’s more, they have been organizing supporters and focusing on educating them on the caucus process – an arcane and fast-paced exhibition that can be intimidating to the uninitiated.

Simultaneously, CNN reported that the Trump campaign is now “touting an army of volunteers, sophisticated data collection and strategic planning for nominating contests further down the calendar as their keys to victory.”

Trump had looked like he was running for show. With this news, it’s undeniable that he’s running to win.

Don’t count him out.