To: Interested Parties
From: Chris Carr, RNC Political Director
RE: 1000 Day Head Start
Date: May 26, 2016
The RNC’s permanent ground game is about to expand, with 250 additional staff coming on board in battleground states. These staffers will build on the operation we’ve been growing for over 1,000 days as we build on our substantial head start over the Democrats in key states across the country.
In 2013, the RNC decided to revolutionize its approach to politics to put the Republican Party in the strongest possible position to win back the White House in 2016. We recognized that building a winning get-out-the-vote infrastructure could no longer be done in months, it needed to be built up over several years.
Elections aren’t won overnight, which is why we’ve been building an expansive, nationwide, data-driven field operation for more than 1,000 days.
So while there’s been a lot of noise lately from Hillary Clinton and the financially struggling DNC about dumping staff into target states over recent weeks, we’ve been the only organization, Democrat or Republican, permanently on the ground for two election cycles straight building an operation to deliver victories up and down the ticket.
A lot has happened over the course of those 1,000 days. Our retooled operation powered Republicans to historic gains in the 2014 midterms. And where Democrats and other organizations have come and gone, the RNC has been permanently mobilized:
In the Summer of 2013, while Clinton was raking in millions in speaking fees and still pondering whether she would run for president, we were announcing state directors and staff in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida (Clinton and the DNC have just recently made announcements in these states).
In the fall of 2014, after our field operation helped usher in the largest Republican victories in a century, we stayed, while everyone else left.
Last spring, when Clinton was just announcing her campaign, we had already launched our fellowship program, the Republican Leadership Initiative, that attracted tens of thousands of applicants, and began the process of training thousands of new organizers to build the bench for our field program.
Last fall, while the spotlight was on the primaries and debates, we were holding events to prepare for the general election, like a national month of action, mobilizing our entire field apparatus a full year ahead of the general election.
In the last few months alone, we’ve held 40,000 one-on-one meetings with potential volunteers and staff. Our volunteers have registered 25,000 new voters and have held thousands of house parties and gatherings to engage and mobilize in communities.
For those counting, while Democrats scramble to build up an operation now, we have had an over 2.5 year, 34 month, or 148 week head-start on Clinton and the DNC (and their primary is still technically raging on).
Democrats have fallen into the same trap we did four years ago when we were rushing to build a field apparatus six months before Election Day. At this point in 2012, we had just begun placing a handful of staff on the ground in battleground states. Today we have well over 200 paid staff and are set to double that number in the coming weeks.
And paid staff only paint part of the picture, our actual footprint in these states is even greater. Our new permanent field program empowers Neighborhood Team Leaders and Core Team Members as part of our official apparatus, and these positions require training, benchmarks, and hours of commitment each week to obtain and keep these titles.
Paid Staff with Increase Real RNC Footprint
Total 466 Total 3583
All told our footprint at this point in the cycle is greater than it has ever been, it is set to double in the coming weeks, and it’s set to grow exponentially before Election Day.
This is the operation our likely presumptive nominee Donald Trump will inherit. The RNC, unlike the DNC, builds a field operation for the entire GOP ticket, not just one candidate. This allows our apparatus to remain intact for election cycles to come where OFA or HFA will come and go.
Trump heads into the general election with a head start on the ground because of the operation the RNC has built – and no matter how you slice it, or how much Democrats scramble to put staff in now, they are playing catch up and we have the advantage.