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POLITICS: PennAve

Republicans roll out Victory grassroots operation

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Republican Party,West Virginia,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,North Carolina,Joe Manchin,Political Buzz,Thom Tillis,Magazine

The Republican National Committee is relaunching its victory program.

Mike Shields, the RNC's chief of staff, said the committee is adding permanent field staff around the country -- it is expanding its presence in Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia -- as part of a new permanent grassroots operation called Victory 365. The program aims to recruit local volunteers and precinct captains to help increase the RNC's data file.

“Let’s be honest: This is community organizing,” Shields said.

Smartphones will play a significant role, he added. The RNC commissioned the development of two canvassing apps, called Advantage Mobile and Geo Connect, that volunteers can use when they go door to door. Volunteers download the app and type in a code they get from the campaign. The app then gives them a map with doors to knock on and tells them which survey questions to ask the people who answer. Volunteers log participants' answers, and that information immediately goes to the campaign.

“Really, what that is, is us beating the Democrats at their own game,” Shields said. “We’ve taken some giant strides toward being able to do that.”

Chuck DeFeo, the RNC’s chief digital officer, added that while national Republicans have long had a thick data file, their ability to give it to candidates hasn’t been up to par.

“They knew the data was here,” DeFeo said. “We just needed to do a better job of providing access for them.”

So the RNC is introducing OneData, a data file of 190 million active voters with information on their demographics, voting history, age, gender and other traits.

The file will be available to Republican campaigns for free. State parties will control candidates’ access and decide whether it can be used in primaries.

 

THOM TILLIS CLINCHES GOP PRIMARY IN HIGH-STAKES NORTH CAROLINA

Thomas Tillis' victory in the North Carolina Republican primary sets up a high-stakes battle against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in the fall that could decide whether Republicans take control of the Senate.

Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House who was the Republican frontrunner, comfortably met the threshold to avoid a runoff in his party's primary contest.

Tillis, who needed to garner at least 40 percent of the Republican vote, received about 46 percent.

The match-up between Tillis and Hagan promises to be one of the most closely watched of the 2014 midterm election cycle.

Two members of the Tar Heel State congressional delegation have signed on to co-chair the party's 2014 voter turnout operation in the state: Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Richard Hudson.

Burr and Hudson will spend the next six months traveling and raising money to boost Tillis and fund a robust get-out-the-vote effort, dubbed “Boots on the Ground,” that is being jointly managed by the Republican National Committee and the North Carolina Republican Party.

The Tar Heel State is highly competitive, having swung Democratic in 2008, Republican in 2010, and only narrowly Republican in 2012.

 

FED-UP JOE MANCHIN MAY RUN FOR WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he might forgo another term in Congress and run again for governor.

In two TV appearances in as many days, Manchin, who served as governor from 2005 to 2010, expressed frustration with the partisan gridlock that he said has prevented passage of legislation including a measure to construct the Keystone XL pipeline and a bill to increase the minimum wage.

“I felt more productive as governor than any time in my life in anything I've ever done,” Manchin told CNN when host Candy Crowley asked if he would prefer to be a governor again.

“I haven't had that same feeling as Senate. I have had an opportunity to learn and grow as a senator, to see the world differently and see my country differently, and I think now that I've seen it, I would like to be productive enough and be able to contribute to make a difference. If that's going to be stopped because of pure hardcore politics, then I've got to make a decision after this cycle of 2014's over, and I will do it. I kept all options open. I will keep all options open. “

Manchin repeated his wavering feelings about serving in the Senate on MSNBC, and also told the network if he had been running for office this year, he would not campaign with President Obama, whose sliding approval ratings have prompted an allergic reaction from several vulnerable red-state Democrats who have refused to be seen with him.

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