RNC Ground-Game Tripled For Trump, Leaving 2012 Numbers in The Dust

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Nov 14, 2016 2:00 PM
RNC Ground-Game Tripled For Trump, Leaving 2012 Numbers in The Dust

When Republican Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama in 2012, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus ordered an autopsy of the election and Party to figure out where things went wrong. The expansive and honest review showed Republicans needed to reach more women, young people, minorities and most importantly, have a better ground game. 

Over the past four years, Priebus directed $175 million into ground game and data targeting investments for GOP candidates across the board. In 2016, the hard work conducted by the RNC in states across the country paid off when Republican Donald Trump was victorious in his pursuit of the White House on Election Day.

"If you don't have mechanics on the ground, you can't win," RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said during a press conference Monday. "We were able to create a recipe for success not only for the top of ticket on Tuesday, but all the way down ticket to the state level."

With an army of volunteers and RNC staffers, 24 million doors received a targeted knock this cycle. On par with in-person visits, 26 million phone calls were made. According to data provided by the RNC, over 2.6 billion voter contact attempts were made directly. No private, outside firms were hired to do voter outreach. 

After analyzing President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, RNC officials and analysts came to the conclusion they weren't utilizing data properly to target voters. That changed during the 2016 cycle.

"I think the results speak for themselves," RNC Chief of Staff Katie Walsh said. "It's a permanent ground game."

Part of the RNC's success goes well outside the realm of the presidential election and greatly benefited down ballot candidates. Republican Senators in tough states were in daily contact with the RNC to study data and target voters throughout the course of their races.

"What Reince did was build a structure for all candidates on the Republican side of the aisle," Walsh continued. "We've expanded the map to a place where it makes it hard for Democrats to argue we haven't been successful."