Skip to comments.Souped-up ground game could be GOP's key to winning Senate
Posted on 03/23/2014 12:14:44 AM PDT by Din Maker
If Republicans win control of the Senate in November, they could owe their victory to a bunch of computer geeks and data nerds holed up in two offices 2,800 miles apart.
The Republicans need to flip six seats to wrest the Senate majority from the Democrats on a playing field that is expanding in the GOP's favor. Up to a dozen Democratic-held seats could be up for grabs -- more than half of them in red states -- as voters continue to sour on President Obama's leadership, health care law and stewardship of the economy. Only two Republican seats threaten to be competitive.
The battle could go down to a photo-finish in a half-dozen races to determine which party runs the chamber during Obamas final two years in office and the parties' voter-turnout operations could be the difference.
Enter the Republican National Committee's newly hired geeks.
Working out of RNC headquarters in Washington and a recently opened annex in San Mateo, in California's Silicon Valley, a growing staff of 40 has been working since last summer to bring the GOP's antiquated ground game into the digital age. Their goal: catch and surpass the Democrats who -- bolstered by the groundbreaking innovations of Obama's two presidential campaigns -- had a 10-year head start. The RNC believes its effort has turned a corner.
We committed ourselves to a permanent, coast-to-coast, year-round ground game, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said during a roundtable with reporters. We've invested in new predictive analytics that are revolutionizing how our campaigns are targeting voters.
Color the Democrats skeptical.
After all, the Republicans are trying to copy an operation that the Democrats have been building, perfecting and training on for 10 years, ever since the party was outflanked by the GOP in the 2004 presidential election. Even if the RNC develops advanced digital tools in time for this years campaign, the committee has to teach a new crop of volunteers to use them, not to mention convince longtime strategists to embrace them.
But the Democrats aren't taking any chances. The party's turnout tends to suffer in midterm elections, a factor that could be magnified by voters' disaffection with Obama in the sixth year of his presidency.
The party's Senate campaign arm, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is promising to spend $60 million on its own get-out-the-vote operation, an investment that is both unorthodox and substantial for a congressional campaign committee. Democrats contend that the program and the superior quality of their candidates and individual campaigns will compensate for any improvements the GOP makes on the ground and the political headwinds the party is facing across the country.
People dont tend to vote for their senators based on the national mood, said a Democratic strategist, who added: The Republicans are light years behind us in field and data.
The RNC credits its improved field and digital programs for David Jolly's win over Democrat Alex Sink in a special election for Florida's 13th congressional district, and the party is counting on the overhauled operation to boost its November candidates as well.
Republicans expect to easily win open Senate seats in South Dakota and West Virginia, where the two incumbent Democrats are retiring. They also feel confident about their prospects in the red states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Montana, and like their chances in Alaska and North Carolina. The open seat in Michigan, currently held by the Democrats, also appears competitive. And now with former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., poised to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, the Republicans believe another race might be on the board.
The Democrats are on offense in Georgia, where Democrat Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is vying to turn a Republican-held open seat. In Kentucky, Clinton family friend and state Secretary of State Alison Lundergan grimes is locked in a tight race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is angling to become the majority leader.
In the Florida special election, the RNC deployed several new capabilities that it did not have in the 2012 election cycle, beginning with permanent field staff who live in the community and are familiar with local voters. Priebus boasts that the RNC has recruited more than 12,000 locally based precinct captains, each with a team of volunteers, who have been building relationships with voters, particularly in states with targeted Senate races.
On the digital side, the Republicans were able to gather and share voter data at unprecedented levels. That meant they had more information on each voter, allowing them to make more immediate, accurate decisions on which voters to target and how to appeal to them. It also meant that all Republicans working on the campaign operated from the same data, which helped ensure strategic unity and prevent different GOP entities from undermining each other.
The RNC has pledged that come Nov. 4, its operation will be even more advanced and available to Republicans in every competitive Senate race. We cant, as a national committee, get to becoming a better presidential party unless I can build the tools, the data, the infrastructure, right now, in 2014, [and] test what were doing in a broad fashion, Priebus said.
Old RINO farts.
Better late than never, I guess.
The Steele era continues to provide negative dividends in allowing the most basic things go to pot.
Michael Steele..... what a piece of crap he was.
I’m really going to be this time.
I wonder if new technology can make up for the voters turned off by the democrat lite candidates the RNC prefers.
But it will make it easier for them to get into Congress and then not correct a damn thing they promised to correct. GOP is worthless.
I’m not a fan Steele, but he only chaired the RNC for two years.
just wait til this year
“By their own admission, they are 10 years behind the DemocRATS in getting this technology in place. That just shows you how out of touch and technologically ignorant, all of those old, Republican farts are up there in D.C.”
If they don’t get their message out through/past the Dem media filters, all the technology in the world isn’t going to matter. There is no reason why any taxpayer working in the shrinking private sector shouldn’t be voting Republican (if for nothing more than their financial self-interest), yet many do because they’re side-tracked with liberal BS about “war on women”, “old white men”, etc.
The Democrats will turn out MORE DEAD VOTERS and PURISTS on OUR side will stay home or vote for the Pro-Abortion, Pro-Pot, Pro-Gay Marriage Libertarians!! Yeah, THAT’LL show those RINOS!! The DICTATOR will be even MORE EMBOLDENED!
People dont tend to vote for their senators based on the national mood, said a Democratic strategist...
OTOH, OBAMA WARNS OF GETTING CLOBBERED Obama says "America is on his side" but nevertheless he sounded the alarm, warning that the party's candidates will get "clobbered" in November.
Obama stressed this message to the 1%----Dummycrat high roller donors in Miami who paid $16,200 apiece for dinner at former Miami Heat star's home: America is on our side but in midterms we get clobbered.
Obama says unless Dummycrat constituencies---women and minorities--- are encouraged to get out the vote. Dummies face defeat,
Yeah, get out the vote...that's the ticket. In the victorious Florida Cong election, Republicans found that invoking "Pelosi" got Republicans out in droves. Messaging that if they didn't vote, Nancy was close to regaining the majority post.
GOP computerists will not turn the Senate. POed voters will.
GOPe can suck a lemon. Get out of the way and shut up.
We the People will Fix THIS.
“The RNC credits its improved field and digital programs for David Jolly’s win over Democrat Alex Sink”
I’m confused. I thought the RNC wasn’t involved much in that win. Maybe I just need more coffee.
“GOP computerists will not turn the Senate. POed voters will.
GOPe can suck a lemon. Get out of the way and shut up.
We the People will Fix THIS.”
Doesn’t it almost sound like the GOPe is sensing the power of the conservative grass roots and wants to be able to crow a little bit about the big wins in the works?
San Mateo is not in Silicon Valley. It’s on the SF peninsula. That’s like saying Jersey City is in Manhattan. Typical East Coast media.
19891991 Lee Atwater 19911992 Clayton Keith Yeutter 19921993 Richard Bond 19931997 Haley Barbour 19972001 Jim Nicholson 20012002 Jim Gilmore 20022003 Marc Racicot 20032005 Ed Gillespie 20052006 Ken Mehlman 2007 Mel Martinez 20072009 Mike Duncan 20092011 Michael Steele 2011 Reince Priebus
just wait til this year...
First ... What you said!
Second, this entire article reminds me that they tried this and Project ORCA was a complete bust, but the author pretends it never happened?!
If they dont get their message out through/past the Dem media filters, all the technology in the world isnt going to matter.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that was, for the most part, what all of the new “high-tech improvements” were supposed to do. I’m thinking they will reach people, whom they have learned through their new technology are people who vote on a regular basis, with their message AND encourage them to be sure to show up and vote. I’m also thinking they will get the maximum use from stuff like internet ads, e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and on and on.
Seriously, correct me if I’m wrong.
We the People will Fix THIS.
Well, Tex, I’m sorry to remind you that on March 4th, we Texans sure as hell didn’t fix it. Cornhole won, without a run-off, in a crowd of 8 candidates. All of them, besides the weird drunkard, Stockman, were good people and good Conservatives. What the hell happened? Maybe we need a little help getting our message out and getting Conservative voters out to vote because, and I repeat, we sure as hell did not fix it.
I don’t think you’re wrong; I think the focus of that media is too limited. As long as Americans are bombarded daily with Democratic Party messages on TV (from prime-time to late-night to kids’ shows), then I don’t see how to counter that saturation with the means you outline. You’ll reach people, but I don’t think it will be in sufficient numbers.
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