Jul 25, 2022 - News

State Republicans push to match Democratic organizing

Illustration of an elephant knocking on a door.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The Republican National Committee's partnership with the Georgia GOP and county parties is touting major strides in its ground game.

Driving the news: By the November 2018 election, the group had just barely hit 1 million door knocks. This year, the partnership known as "Georgia Victory" hit that milestone in mid-July.

  • They've also made a new effort to reach voters of color with community outreach centers geared toward Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in the metro area.

Why it matters: Georgia Democrats' organizing infrastructure has been widely acknowledged as superior to Republicans' efforts in the past few election cycles.

Details: The RNC told Axios it has 75 full-time field staff across Georgia and will build out 12 field offices in the coming months.

The big picture: The Georgia minority outreach offices — for Black voters in College Park, AAPI voters in Berkley Lake and Hispanic voters in Suwanee — are part of a national push by the RNC to engage with voters of color in battleground states including Texas, Florida and North Carolina.

Catch up quick: Jason Shepherd, former chair of the Cobb County GOP and former candidate for Georgia Republican Party chair, told Axios the RNC's involvement reflects the state's new purple status.

  • He also pointed out the RNC hadn’t been able to coordinate with state parties on election monitoring until 2018 because of a consent decree.
  • "The state party needs the help," he said, adding it became a "victim of its own success" and "got lazy" once it gained control of the legislature and governor's office two decades ago.

What they're saying: Attorney General Chris Carr, who knocked on the millionth door in Cobb County, told Axios that in 2018, there wasn't this level of coordination between national and state organizing efforts.

  • "There's been a change in the intensity and the investment in the ground game that is absolutely appropriate and necessary," he said of this year's organizing.

The other side: While the state Democratic party did not share its own door knocking and field staff totals, state Democratic coordinated campaign director Ebonee Dawson told Axios in a statement that their "statewide infrastructure at this point in the election cycle is unprecedented in strength and scope."

  • "With more cash on hand, staff, active county committees, grassroots donors, volunteers and Democratic candidates than at this point in any year past, Georgia Democrats are well-positioned to build on our historic victories come November," she said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the details of the RNC consent decree.

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