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Posted at 1:38 p.m. on March 15, 2013
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Republican National Committee is moving forward with a comprehensive overhaul of its antiquated voter turnout operation, including a focus on fixing a collection of broken state parties, CQ Roll Call confirmed Friday.
The effort will be directed by the RNC’s political department, under the supervision of political director Chris McNulty and a full-time state party director — a new committee position created as part of the get-out-the-vote overhaul. The modernized national field operation will focus on improving voter registration, identification and turnout through a “bottom-up” approach that reinvigorates the party organization at the precinct, congressional district and state levels.
Under this strategy, the RNC plans to immediately reform its training program for grass-roots activists to encompass the committee’s new attention on data gathering, technology and analytics with a complete revamp of its political education department slated to conclude by May 1. Similar to President Barack Obama’s successful formula, the RNC wants to transform its GOTV into an ongoing national program that relies on “peer-to-peer” contact where people live, work, worship, learn and buy their coffee.
“This is a big initiative in which we will be simultaneously revamping our grass-roots organizing infrastructure and voter contact programs from top to bottom while integrating a minority engagement structure to work in unison toward the goal of electing more Republicans,” McNulty told CQ Roll Call. “The key to the entire grass-roots infrastructure will be working with state and county parties toward a new and exciting bottom-up precinct team structure. All of this will be driven by the new and improved data infrastructure and analytics at the RNC.”
Overhauling the RNC’s field operation was one of several recommendations included in an autopsy report of the 2012 elections that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is scheduled to unveil Monday.
The Growth and Opportunity Project, as the forthcoming report is known, was developed by a team of five longtime GOP operatives appointed by Priebus. It is due to be released on the heels of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where grass-roots activists have held several panels examining 2012 and what conservatives and the GOP must do to be successful in 2016. Panels at CPAC have examined immigration, minority outreach and candidate recruitment.
The GOP’s immediate priority is success in this year’s off-year elections and the 2014 midterms. The RNC’s commitment to House and Senate races could be evident through two recent senior staff hires, including McNulty, who previously served in Speaker John A. Boehner’s political operation and new RNC chief of staff Mike Shields, who last cycle served as political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
But it’s with an eye toward 2016 and winning the next presidential election that the Growth and Opportunity Project was commissioned. The report, a portion of which was obtained by CQ Roll Call, describes the RNC’s overhauled voter turnout strategy this way: