GOP Planning Obama-Like Voter Outreach

RNC to announce intensive effort on voter turnout and registration.


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Republican National Committee has the highest regard for President Obama's political team.

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This will become clear Monday when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus unveils the results of the GOP's internal review of what went wrong in the 2012 campaign, when Obama shellacked Republican nominee Mitt Romney and won key constituencies by margins that took GOP strategists by surprise.

The RNC is "revamping the way we contact voters, moving to a bottom-up voter turnout operation," says a spokeswoman. "The plan will include reinvesting in identification, turnout and voter registration, helping state parties, overhauling the committee's training efforts and centering around data gathering, technology and analytics." All this was part of Obama's grass roots effort in 2012, which turned out to be far ahead of the GOP's approach. Obama's Democratic team used intensive data mining to identify key constituencies and then get them to the polls.

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Voters in Washington, DC during the 2008 Potomac Primary.

RNC political director Chris McNulty will help lead the party's new approach, which will attempt to replicate the Obama's campaign's highly successful organizing effort based on neighbor-to-neighbor, person-to-person contact with voters.

The RNC, as expected, will also announce a "massive minority engagement effort" to court Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and African Americans, party sources say. The GOP's relationship with these groups has turned sour, which is a bad sign for future Republican success because the groups' share of the electorate is growing.

Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.