EXCLUSIVE: The Republican National Committee (RNC) says a continuously expanding data-driven field program fueled by record-breaking fundraising will help put the GOP in the driver’s seat to win back majorities in the House and Representatives and Senate in November’s midterm elections.
The RNC, which shared its latest data and grassroots metrics first with Fox News on Wednesday, argues the rival Democratic National Committee (DNC) is "playing catch-up."
Officials at the RNC say their story starts with fundraising.
As Fox News first reported a month ago, the RNC set an off-election record fundraising haul in 2021, edging the DNC in the campaign cash race. And the RNC topped its Democratic counterpart again in January fundraising, $13 million to $10.2 million. But the DNC retains a cash-on-hand advantage with over $11 million more in its coffers than the RNC as of the end of last month.
Pointing to Ronna McDaniel, who’s chaired the RNC since 2017, communications director Danielle Alvarez noted that "the chairwoman during her tenure has raised $1.3 billion."
The RNC notes that its fundraising prowess has allowed it to invest in its data and field operations. The committee says it has invested over $350 million in data operation over the past couple of election cycles to develop state-of-the-art data and technology.
"Nobody else does data like the RNC does data," Alvarez touted.
And RNC political director Elliott Echols noted that "all the data that the RNC collects … we share with campaigns up and down the ballot for free," which he says gives them a huge advantage over the DNC.
"When we talk about being able to flip these voters back, it’s because of the RNC’s data operation that we’re able to share with state parties, share with campaigns, to provide the best targets for these candidates to go after and for us to turn them out.," Echols said.
The RNC says its data helps it decide where to build its grassroots outreach operation.
"What’s driving all this is our data operation," Echols noted. "It’s telling us who to go talk to. We’re then using this massive field investment that we have to then get our volunteers and our staff to have these conversations with people.
"The chairwoman’s investment in the ground game [in 2021] allowed us to re-engage a significant number of the 2.6 million volunteers and ultimately turn out Republican voters all across the country throughout the year."
The RNC says that its efforts helped the GOP to flip the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general’s office and House of Delegates, in November’s elections in Virginia. It also made gains in the state legislature in the blue state of New Jersey.
The RNC says it currently has "more than 200 field staff in battleground states across the country" and that "we’re pretty close to presidential level build uts right now in a lot of these states and especially in battleground congressional districts."
"These field staffers are out organizing their communities, recruiting, training and getting people activated to go out and make those volunteer voter contacts," Echols said. "When it comes time to persuading and turning out people, Republicans up and down the ballot are in the best position possible."
Paris Dennard, RNC national spokesman and director of Black media affairs, highlighted the committee’s current 20 community centers. It expects to expand that number to 30 by November’s midterms.
Dennard noted the "long-term strategic effort to engage the minority communities. And when I say minorities, I mean the Black community, the Hispanic community, Asian Pacific American community, as well as the Native American community.
"Donors and investors are saying this is something that is tangible, this is something that is real, this is something we can see that is happening that we want to invest in."
The DNC is also highlighting its efforts.
Party officials note that the DNC transferred over $1.3 million in January to support state parties, and that the committee and President Biden have made "critical investments" in partners, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, (DCCC), the reelection arms of the Senate and House Democrats and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA).
The DNC highlights its $20 million funding last year to put staff on the ground in key states earlier than ever before, as well as a $25 million investment for voter education, protection and registration.
"Not only does the DNC have record grassroots engagement and has already invested more earlier than ever before in the midterm elections, but Democrats are actually delivering for the American people," DNC deputy communications director Daniel Wessel told Fox News.
Wessel argued that "the Republican Party knows that boasting about their programs doesn't mean they'll win elections, and they should be more focused on figuring out how they'll explain to voters their plan to raise taxes on over half of Americans while doing nothing to lower costs for working families."
The RNC counters that the stability in its leadership has given it an edge in allowing it to think long term.
Alvarez noted that "by the time this cycle ends, chairwoman McDaniel will be the longest serving chair in RNC history and, as a result, she can make long-term strategic investments."