The Republican National Committee had 200 staffers in this week for field training with the goal of catching up with — and eventually surpassing — its Democratic counterparts' ground game efforts in 2014.
The RNC held two days of staff training out near Dulles Airport, led by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and RNC chief of staff Mike Shields. Former House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) also made an appearance.
"The RNC is building something big all across this country, and it's unprecedented for the field staff to gather in these numbers this early," Priebus says in a statement to The Hill. "We're redefining how a field program works, and the great staff that gathered this week will help us tremendously in 2014 and beyond."
The organization has made it a priority to hire more state-level field staff than in previous years and ramp up its digital capabilities, following a 2012 election in which Democrats had a big advantage both on the ground and online.
This is a much-needed and important first step towards recapturing the Senate and winning the presidency. And what’s more, there seems to be a level of seriousness to the training sessions given the fact that the chairman and his chief of staff were present. The only way Republicans are going to get their message across to voters who traditionally vote for Democrats is to travel to neighborhoods and communities where residents have never been exposed to -- or heard of -- conservative principles. They need professionally-trained staffers to help with those efforts. And lots of them.
The chairman himself called these sessions “unprecedented” -- an indication that the RNC is indeed overhauling their on-the-ground strategy. The old ways of campaigning are obsolete. Voters want to know and trust the party for whom they are voting. Sending professionally-trained staffers into the field, then, as early as possible, could make a world of difference.