“I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager,” Trump wrote on Facebook. “Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role, while being a Senior Advisor to the campaign.”
The move comes as poll after poll shows Trump trailing Joe Biden, by an average of 8.6 percentage points according to the Real Clear Politics average.
Trump, however, put a positive spin on the shakeup. He said that Stepien and Parscale “were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together. This one should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way, and Americans want safe streets and communities!”
Parscale had been named campaign manager early in 2018. There had been speculation that his tenure was threatened as Trump fell further behind in the polls since the start of the summer, and following the president’s Tulsa rally last month. Held in an indoor arena, the rally was meant to be an enthusiastic restart his campaign events that were largely sidelined amid the coronavirus crisis. Instead, the event had lower-than-expected turnout, with cameras captured rows and rows of empty seats.
Trump named Stepien deputy campaign manager in May, after having served as an adviser. He left the White House in 2018, after he had served as political director.