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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

RNC is Back

At The New York Times, Nicholas Confessore reports that Reince Priebus has pulled RNC out of its tailspin, raising over $110 million and retiring more than half its debt.
One role that the committee has filled in the past when the party was out of power — pounding the president with early television advertising — has been taken up by outside groups like American Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove. That has allowed the committee and its chairman, Reince Priebus, to focus on rebuilding the party’s network of large donors.

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“Reince’s job, as he says, is to spend 80 percent of his time on the telephone and the other 20 percent at state party dinners,” said Frank J. Donatelli, a former deputy chairman at the committee. “There was a donor strike of sorts at the end of 2010. What he has done is regain the confidence of those major donors.”

At a time when Mr. Romney and other candidates have struggled to raise money, the committee’s fund-raising success has allowed it to move quickly into a general election posture, even before the emergence of a nominee and the flood of money to the party that usually accompanies it. While the party has run some advertising against Mr. Obama — including commercials in six swing states attacking his health care overhaul and timed to last week’s Supreme Court hearings — it has used most of its money, and the freedom afforded by super PAC advertising against Mr. Obama, to focus on its strength: identifying and turning out Republican voters.

“The R.N.C. is the only organization that can spend money directly on the ground game and organizing the states,” said Alfred Hoffman Jr., one of the country’s top Republican fund-raisers and a former finance chairman of the committee. “A super PAC can’t do that.”
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The party has also revamped its voter database, known as Voter Vault, which was built during Mr. Bush’s tenure but fell into disrepair after he left office. The new system will allow what committee officials there call “nano-targeting,” collecting far more detailed demographic and consumer data on Republican voters than the earlier version.

“We will be the gold standard of Republican get-out-the-vote efforts,” Mr. Priebus said in a statement. “We are at least 90 days ahead of where the R.N.C. has ever been in history.”