According to Steve Peoples and Julie Bykowicz of the Associated Press, though, the Party is falling behind.
“We’ve moved on to thousands and thousands of employees,” Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus stated last March. “We are covering districts across this country in ways that we’ve never had before.”
The AP’s state-by-state review, however, found that the GOP is behind their goals in Pennsylvania and several other key states. They learned of totals that the RNC laid out in May and compared them to their own recent interviews with local Republican leaders.
“Some examples of Republican shortfalls: Ohio Republicans thought they were going to see 220 paid staffers by May; in reality there are about 50,” they write. “Plans for Pennsylvania called for 190 paid staffers; there are about 60. Iowa’s planned ground force of 66 by May actually numbers between 25 and 30. In Colorado, recent staff departures have left about two dozen employees, far short of the 80 that were to have been in place.”
From the 1980’s through 2004, Republicans were generally thought of as the side with the better ground game. The Obama campaign’s digital outreach, though, swung the pendulum the other way. Over the past few years, Hillary Clinton has made a concerted effort to bring in Obama veterans.
“We’re not unveiling our strategy, but we have field staff on the ground building relationships with voters since January 2015,” PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney told PoliticsPA.