Retooled GOP Ground Game Delivered

FROM: RNC Chief of Staff Mike Shields
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Retooled GOP Ground Game Delivered

Saturday’s double-digit win over three-term incumbent Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu was the capstone on a historic election cycle for Republicans. Our candidates won at every level of government in red states, purple states, and blue states. It was a stinging rebuke of the failed policies of President Obama and the Democrat Party.

What’s more, these victories are a testament to the improvements we made as a party when it comes to identifying and turning out voters and implementing the recommendations of the Growth and Opportunity Project.

Consider the scope of the victory:

  • More than two incumbent Senate Democrats were defeated by the GOP for the first time since 1980.
  • Republicans will hold their largest majority in the U.S. House of Representatives since at least 1946.
  • Republicans will control 31 governorships, the second highest total since the 1920’s.
  • Republicans will control 69 of the nation’s state 99 legislative chambers, the most in history.
  • Republicans will control more than 4,100 of the nation’s 7,386 state legislative seats, the most ever.
  • More than half of the nation’s Lt. Governors, Attorneys General, Secretaries of State, and State Treasurers will be Republican.

We also made history with our candidates and won in deep blue territory. New faces like Joni Ernst (R-IA), the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, and Mia Love (R-UT), the first Republican African-American woman elected to Congress, will join the ranks of a bigger, more diverse GOP Conference in Washington. And at the state level, Republicans picked up governorships in deep blue Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois while reelecting GOP governors in 8 states the President won twice.

To be sure, President Obama had a hand in these sweeping victories: a majority of Americans view his presidency as a failure. Still, the only way to translate public sentiment into votes is with a robust GOTV operation. That’s where the RNC focused it’s time, talent, and resources:

  • The RNC invested more than $105 million in 26 states to fund the retooled V365 field program.
  • The RNC made a multi-million dollar upgrade to the data and digital operation, and opened up an office in Silicon Valley to recruit top tech talent.
  • The V365 field program included more than 2,000 paid staff and nearly 30,000 precinct captains who would go on to make 35 million voter contacts and identify 2.4 million low propensity voters.
  • The RNC utilized new mobile walk apps to upload data in real time, launched early voter and election day Facebook apps, and integrated voter data into a revamped website.
  • The RNC developed a 1 to 100 scoring system to model voters.
  • The RNC increased its grassroots email list from 2 million to 12 million, leading to record-breaking online fundraising and improved turnout.
  • In the Louisiana runoff, the RNC had hundreds of people doing GOTV, testing and training for 2016
  • These resources were brought to bear earlier than ever before, beginning a full 18 months before election day. For the first time, the RNC focused on persuasion and turning out low-propensity voters early. Our retooled GOTV strategy was clearly a difference-maker for candidates across the country—from our come from behind win in the FL-13 special election in March, to Thom Tillis’ upset win in North Carolina, to taking the lead in the Iowa early vote for the first time in history. None of this would have been possible without  the RNC’s record-breaking fundraising that consistently outpaced the DNC this cycle.

    Republicans will head into 2016 with a proven field operation and a record of resounding victories. The GOP will also have another advantage: a clear shift in public opinion away from the Democrats. A Pew Research Center survey found earlier this year that nearly two-thirds of Americans want their next president to pursue polices different from the Obama Administration’s.

    Voters’ growing distaste for Democrats, their records, and their policies will make it difficult for them to hold the White House or take back either chamber of Congress. It’s a bad omen for Hillary Clinton and all of the other Democrats who would only continue the President’s failed agenda.

    But our work is far from finished. The Democrats will not be taking a day off and neither will we. The RNC will continue to refine and test our field operation as we prepare to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016.



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