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Overnight Open Thread (3-18-2014) | Main | Wednesday Morning News Dump
March 19, 2014

Top Headline Comments 3-19-14

Happy Wednesday. How happy are folks? Yeah.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had a good column at CNN's website yesterday describing the committee's new year-round ground game and the reasons for the changes to the 2016 primary schedule.

It's the story of our field staffers across the country -- state directors, data directors, and Hispanic, black, and Asian-American engagement staffers. The RNC has also hired staff dedicated to engaging better with women, youth, people of faith and conservative allies and groups. We have hundreds of staff fanned out, especially in critical midterm states, supporting our candidates and growing our party. Today, 91% of our political staff is in the field.

They support whole teams of precinct captains. We've recruited more than 12,000 captains nationwide. Those captains have teams of volunteers whose job it is to maintain lasting relationships with sets of people in their communities. They're listening to their concerns and making sure they hear about the issues they care about.

Reince announced that the convention will be either June 27 or July 18, shortening the time between the start of primary voting and the official selection of our nominee, compared to 2012. There's a couple reasons for that.

First, once the Republican candidate is officially nominated, he will have access to general election funds. He won't have to hold back enough primary funding (or, more likely, simply go without funding) to fill the gap between the time he accumulates enough primary votes to become the presumptive nominee, which is usually April or May, and the time he is officially nominated, usually August or September.

Second, the early convention gives more time before Election Day for the Republican candidate to focus on the general election campaign, which involves pushing wedge issues for Democrats to the fore. This is in contrast to the primary, which necessarily involves Republicans pushing wedge issues for Republicans. Having a late convention last time meant voters spent almost a year hearing Republicans tear each other down and only 60 days on the general election campaign. We won't do that again.

Reince also mentioned the new digital and data tools the RNC is providing. They were helpful for Rep. Jolly in his recent special election in Florida and the idea is that they'll be available for all Republican candidates and state committees this year.

When the RNC announced the new tech startup, the Democrats rushed out to claim that they too were building a digital and data platform, called Project Ivy. But it's much ado about nothing, built on top of the OFA platform designed to turn out Obama voters, which has drastically underperformed whenever Obama isn't on the ballot.

Additionally, the Democrats have only a fraction of the cash on hand that Republicans do and enormous amounts of debt. The RNC remains debt-free, and therefore has the funds and flexibility to field its data tools. That too is part of Reince's plan.



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