Trump’s 2020 Campaign: A Traditional Operation With a Wild-Card Candidate

Mr. Stepien, meanwhile, has been focused on the delegate selection process and state chairman races in places like Massachusetts, Florida and Maine, to ensure that the Republican National Convention next year will be an uninterrupted celebration of the president. Mr. Trump’s experience at the 2016 convention, when a group of “Never Trump” Republicans that included high-profile delegates like Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, was a searing experience for him, aides say, and his team is looking to avoid a repeat.

The spending rate has concerned some outside allies, who have raised questions about the extensive digital investment so early in the campaign. The billionaire Todd Ricketts has been named a finance chairman, reaching out with his team to the donors who were not supportive of Mr. Trump in 2016.

And the campaign has been focused on tying all of the potential Democratic 2020 nominees to the most progressive names in the party, branding them all as “socialists” whose views are too far to the left for general-election voters. Mr. Parscale has discussed with Mr. Trump the potential advantages of targeting the Green New Deal, the ambitious Democratic proposal to combat climate change.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump acknowledged that advice was setting in. “I don’t want to speak badly about the New Green Deal, Sean, because frankly I’m afraid that they’ll stop using it, because I really do want to, you know, campaign against it,” Mr. Trump said.

But when it comes to telling a compelling story to the public, Mr. Trump will be running his own show, and campaign aides acknowledge that they are only taking cues from the president.

There is also another factor at play, which is how much of his time Mr. Trump is willing to give them.

After two years in office, Mr. Trump, 72, is tired, aides said. The unstoppable campaigner, so far, will commit to participating in only one campaign event a day, and recently balked at a possible rally out West during a fund-raising swing. The rally may still happen, people familiar with the plans said, but only because campaign officials insisted on it.