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RNC to Spend $250 Million to Fight to Keep Control of House
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16 Apr 2018 04:11 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (Image Source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

 

While recent news depicted the GOP as a broken group, with analysts figuring they would lose control of the House, It turns out they're not ready to give up just yet. The Republican National Committee is putting forward $250 million to hopefully keep the House in Republican hands.

In an unprecedented move and still fearing a takeover by the Democrats in the fall elections, the RNC is using their resources to hire both paid staff and trained volunteers in half the states. They want to force Democrats in Conservative states out of office, but much of the resources will be protecting the seats they currently have in Florida, California, and New York.

"Our No. 1 priority is keeping the House. We have to win the House," said Juston Johnson, RNC political director. "That is the approach we took to put the budget together."

RNC's plan was shared with the Associated Press while several hundred volunteers and staff were already at work on Saturday. They were training 1,600 new volunteers in more than 200 events across the country. Nearly forty events were held in Florida alone.

Despite election day still far off in advance, there is already 300 state-based paid staff. They want to triple that number for their total paid staff that doesn't include those employed at their headquarters in Washington. There are already more than 10,000 trained volunteers.

It's a strategy that former chairman Reince Priebus was a fan of and Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman chosen by Trump, expanded on. However, it's very risky, as it leaves them with no additional resources for television or Internet advertising, meaning they need to rely on fundraising from Trump and his senior party leaders. 

Further, this is after Speaker Paul Ryan, a huge fundraiser, had already announced he is leaving next January. And again, some political analysts believe that the House majority has already been lost, and there is a lot of enthusiasm among Democrats after the showing in recent special elections.

In order to take control of the House for the remainder of Trump's term, the Democrats need to pick up at least 24 seats in the House. They only need two seats to get the majority in the Senate, thought a win there for the Democrats is still seen as less than winning the House.

The first year of Trump's term had already set a goal of $132 million for the RNC fundraising, which was a record. And now they'll be increasing that to $250 million. 

"Our sweeping infrastructure, combined with on-the-ground enthusiasm for President Trump and Republican policies, puts us in prime position to defend our majorities in 2018," said McDaniel.

She describes the $250 million goal as a "permanent data-driven field program." It's also the largest investment in any election season, but they're focused on winning seats in places they haven't before, including a "huge focus" on Southern California.

They're also working with Florida, trying to calm the waters with Puerto Ricans who landed there after the 2017 hurricanes. There's also staff currently working in Ohio and Nevada, with both states looking at races for the House and the Senate.

The Nevada team is already working as well. "We're building a volunteer army that will be a turnkey operation for every Republican campaign up and down the ballot," said Dan Coats, Nevada state director. "A strong field game like the one we have here can and will make a difference."

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