RNC Directs Extra $8 Million to Senate Early-Vote Efforts

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 09:42 AM

By Andrea Billups

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The Republican National Committee is sinking an addition $8 million into U.S. Senate races, Politico reported.

The money is to give the Republican campaigns additional resources in key states in an effort to win tight races, tending to early voting initiatives including absentee ballots, the RNC noted. The money is on top of $90 million budgeted earlier this year, Politico said.

"Taking back the United States Senate is our No. 1 priority, and we are doing our part to help," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said of the extra push, according to Politico. "For months we’ve been in communities building relationships and helping state parties and campaigns with data and technology, and we’re excited for the opportunity to help turn out voters on the road to winning six seats and taking back the Senate."

Such early-voter tactics are seen as crucial in close contests and were used effectively by President Barack Obama's campaign in 2012, Politico said. Now Republicans want to stay ahead of the game, too.

"Increasing our early vote is going to be important to winning in November," Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told Politico. "These additional resources will greatly help our candidates cross the finish line and create a Republican Senate majority that will deliver results for Americans."

The new infusion of cash is notably not being used for ad buys, but is devoted to the Republican's digital vote-getting plan, the Washington Examiner noted.

In previous years, late-campaign spending went to television and other advertising, but this cycle, the GOP has burned through cash on hand earlier than in the past. As of the end of July, the RNC reported just $13.9 million in its coffers, the Examiner reported.

The RNC pushed back on notions that its digital get-out-the-vote effort, used masterfully by the Democrats in the past, won't be successful.

"It’s a very unusual burn rate that [RNC Chairman Reince Priebus] has chosen to take us on because it’s the right path for us to optimally engage voters right now," Chuck DeFeo, the RNC's chief technology officer and deputy chief of staff told the Examiner.

Buoyed in no small part by the increasing unpopularity of Obama, the RNC has consistently outpaced the Democratic National Committee during this election cycle, The Wall Street Journal reported. The RNC raised $140 million while Democrats raised $126 million.

Online donations, however, tell a different story, the Journal said. The Democrat's House election committee raised nearly as much in the month of July as their GOP House fundraisers have brought in total from online donors.

Campaign finance reports showed that both Democrat Senate and House committees raised about $27 more than those Republican committees. Republicans seemed fully aware of that threat in a fundraising letter sent to supporters, the Journal reported.

"We've known for months that Democrats were raising an unprecedented amount of money. However, over the last couple of weeks, the scale of their fundraising advantage became clear,'' GOP Senate campaign committee head Moran noted in an email.

"They are outspending us by millions in places like North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, and Michigan," Moran wrote, according to the Journal. "If we can't close this gap, our best chance of taking the Senate in a generation could slip away."

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