The expectation – and it’s only that because the party is barred from coordinating with third-party groups – is that the new organizations that have sprung up amid the RNC’s woes will step in to pay for such GOTV efforts in statewide contests.
Senior Republicans are particularly hopeful that the group American Crossroads, founded in part by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, is planning to fill the void in turnout funding.
“You're not going to spend $200,000 on micro-targeting if all you're doing is TV ads,” said one top GOP operative, alluding to the money American Crossroads has spent so far to identify voters.
POLITICO reported last month that the third-party group has hired veteran Republican strategist Carl Forti to run a micro-targeting effort and, according to a “concept paper,” would spend $15 million on “targeted grassroots advocacy” – paid voter contact.
Because of laws against coordination, spokesmen for both the RNC and American Crossroads were cagey in describing their efforts.
"We are thrilled they have joined the fight," said RNC spokesman Doug Heye of the new groups, noting that Democrats have had effective outside groups in previous cycles while Republicans paid a price for not having any such outfits.
"American Crossroads has said from the get-go that we'll be active in get-out-the-vote," said spokesman Jonathan Collegio, promising "in-depth voter contact programs in our targeted states and races."