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The Trump Campaign’s Theory of Victory

The Trump campaign isn’t just expecting to win this election; it’s expecting to win it in a landslide. And top Trump campaign officials were feeling that confident even before Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance. So what’s their strategy to achieve the blowout they’re imagining? And is their confidence justified?Tim Alberta is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.” He recently spent months profiling Trump’s campaign managers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita. In this conversation, Alberta offers an inside look at the Trump campaign and their theory of victory. We discuss how the campaign has tailored its messaging to capitalize on Joe Biden’s weaknesses; LaCivita’s and Wiles’s personal backgrounds and approaches to the campaign; what Trump’s vice-presidential pick, Senator J.D. Vance, signals about Trump’s vision for his presidency; and more.Mentioned:“Trump Is Planning for a Landslide Win” by Tim Alberta“How J.D. Vance Won Over Donald Trump” by Jonathan Swan and Maggie HabermanBook Recommendations:Tired of Winning by Jonathan KarlKingdom of Rage by Elizabeth NeumannRomney by McKay CoppinsThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected] can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld, with additional mixing by Aman Sahota. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Annie Galvin, Elias Isquith and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.