GOP Counting on ‘Motivated Base,’ Courting ‘Low-Propensity Voters’ to Win This Fall
“When the president gets a cold nationally, he gets pneumonia in the states we care about."
July 21, 2014 - 12:16 am
WASHINGTON – Republican groups presented an optimistic, confident outlook of their position for the fall elections on Wednesday – one hundred days before Americans head to the ballots.
The five GOP committees overseeing presidential, Senate, House, gubernatorial and state legislative races hosted a joint press briefing on Capitol Hill, where they highlighted their coordinated strategy for the November elections.
Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Mike Shields said the idea behind the event was to highlight how well the groups are “working together.”
Shields said there are some “common things in many of the different races that makes us feel good about where we are headed.”
“We are in a very good position because we have a motivated base,” Shields said.
He confidently predicted that victories at the ballot box in 2014 would eclipse the sweep in 2010 that gave Republicans the House majority. Shields said this is due to “major gains in the GOP brand,” combined with the general dissatisfaction among voters about the nation’s direction.
Shields cited a poll that showed 53 percent of Americans believe it is important to put Republicans in charge to offset Obama and his party allies.
He explained the GOP’s strategy ahead of the midterm elections and spoke of the steps the RNC has taken to increase voter support in targeted districts.
After 2012, the RNC decided to focus on two things: building out its ground game and working on its data infrastructure.
The RNC has recruited 16,630 precinct captains and dispatched 304 field staffers – 24 state directors and 280 organizers – to try to mobilize 10 million “low-propensity voters” in November. This staff also includes 30 Hispanic engagement officers, and 15 African-American and eight Asian-American engagement staff.
Part of this new push is building the infrastructure for the thousands of volunteers who will be walking in the targeted precincts and using “canvassing apps” and other data-driven technology that will provide real-time information to them.
RNC reported that it has already made more than 1.3 million voter contacts.
Shields denied that Republicans were trying to “emulate” Obama’s successful 2008 and 2012 campaigns, which saw them leading in aggressive voter contact and technology. Instead, he said, Republicans are trying to surpass them.
“I always say, the Democrats put up Sputnik, we can put a man on the moon,” Shields said.
National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Liesl Hickey described this year’s Republican congressional candidates as one of the “most exciting recruitment classes” that she can remember.
Hickey said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is spending most of its money on defense to “stop the bleeding” and hold on to its seats in the House.
She noted that 68 percent of the NRCC spending has been on offense, compared with 48 percent by the DCCC.
House Republicans are overwhelmingly favored to hold their majority, which currently stands at 233-199, with two vacancies in Democratic districts.