The Republican Party will be opening a number of local campaign offices, called “victory offices,” in six swing states to stir up GOP voters this fall and try and close the gap with President Barack Obama’s already humming campaign organization, according to a report by USA Today
The new offices should be up and running by mid-May in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa and Wisconsin, joining those already established by the Republican National Committee in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, Michigan and Colorado.
Those manning these mini-political fortresses will work in coordination with state party committees in developing and sharing voter-contact information, grass-roots organizing and get-out-the-vote efforts.
RNC Political Director Rick Wiley says the battleground strongholds represent “the ground game run by the RNC in conjunction with the states.” The RNC wants to open offices in the 12 battleground states by May, even without an official nominee, Wiley explains, “because the Obama campaign has been building this for a year. They have had an opportunity to get out ahead of us.”
By the end of the summer, the whole apparatus should become part of the Mitt Romney campaign, as the former Massachusetts governor cements his position as the presumptive nominee of his party.
Although federal campaign law requires that the state party, national party and presidential campaign pay for some services themselves and not simply share money, Colorado Republican Party chairman Ryan Call sees it this way: “There is not going to be an inch of daylight between us and the RNC.”
And once the Romney campaign ramps up, Call adds, “There will not be an inch of daylight between us and the campaign either.”
Annaliese Wiederspahn, spokeswoman for the Republican Party of New Mexico, describes what has been going on:
“We have spent so much time, district by district, learning what’s going on in these districts” that the state party can provide the national party a tremendous road map of what issues resonate in the state, she said. The big benefit the state party receives from the partnership is “having them on the ground and helping us to build infrastructure … and help us ramp up and scale up quickly,” she says.
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