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Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich Slow-Walk Their Data Transfer to Trump

After spending the primary season dismissive of their investments, Trump’s prospects against Hillary Clinton would be aided by the work of vanquished rivals who had spent more on survey-informed analytics and volunteer-based field programs.
Senator Ted Cruz speaks to members of the media at the Capitol on July 6, 2016, in Washington.

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to members of the media at the Capitol on July 6, 2016, in Washington.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A crucial step in unifying a political party, akin to the laying down of arms after a long war, is the moment when losing candidates relinquish all the data they hoarded during their primary campaigns to the party organization. This moment is usually specified in contracts as the start of the convention, at which point the data can be redistributed the the presidential nominee and down-ballot candidates nationwide. 

“What will come back is any voter contact or information they have gleaned about a voter,” Katie Walsh, the Republican National Committee’s chief of staff, said in early March, as her party’s nominating contest raged at full tilt. “If that campaign knocked a door, then I’m going to know about it.”