The 2014 midterms may be months away, but the leadership of the national Republican Party already deployed part of its strategy for those elections, including targeting key demographic groups and using techniques similar to those that helped President Barack Obama win a second term in office in 2012.
The Republican National Committee, or RNC, rolled out a 14-state, six-figure ad buy that makes clear the Republican Party's message and, in some ways, seeks to erase -- or at least mitigate -- Democrats’ criticism of the GOP's alleged war on women. But that’s not all. These ads prominently feature women and minorities, two key voting blocs who tilted the last presidential election in favor of Obama. The new ad campaign comes just in time for the one-year anniversary of the RNC’s presidential election “autopsy,” which admonished Republicans to make inroads with women and the Hispanic community.
Here’s how RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described the effort on CNN’s “State of the Union” this week:
“It ... means taking a national party like we did last year and historically changing the very nature of how we do business. We are putting people in every single battleground state across the country, every single community. We have a historic engagement effort in Hispanic-, Asian- and African-American communities not just five months before an election but for four years. This is what we do. We are a campaign committee. But one of the things we didn’t do well in the past is communicate on a long-term basis in diverse communities across America. And what we’re changing is that every day and every week, we’re in these communities talking about the Republican Party. I think that’s important. That’s how you change things.”
Here are the ads and their focus:
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The American Dream
Next Generation (Particularly Healthcare)
Taking Control (Jobs)
These ads are a part of the “Create Your American Dream” initiative. It’s not just the people in the ads who stand out -- the GOP's strategy do, too. The leadership of the Republican party, whom voters have described as “stuffy old men”, “narrow minded” and “out of touch,” is embracing a digital approach that aims to get its message out to wired and digitally savvy voters, and it wants to narrow the technology gap that presently favors Democrats. Check out the website for the “Create Your American Dream” initiative.
So far, the authors of last year's election post-mortem report are pleased with the progress.
“The truth is, the work has only begun,” an op-ed in Real Clear Politics read. “Our charge was to make recommendations for the long-term growth and health of the party -- not for short-term, short-lived gains. Even as we evaluate the work that’s going on, we recognize that there is much more left to do. But one year after the release of the Growth and Opportunity Project report, we’re glad to see Republicans are doing things differently. They’re not 'doing the same thing,' and we can begin 'expecting different results.'"