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It has been an absolute honor to serve as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and I am proud of the changes our committee has strategically implemented to strengthen our party, take back the House, and retire Nancy Pelosi.
However, I understand the frustration some Republicans have at the results from election night, and recently the RNC announced an after-action initiative: a member-led working group to examine the 2022 election and give an in-depth report of what worked and what needs to be improved upon for the next cycle. While the findings of that initiative will be important, we must continue building upon what we know worked so we do not lose ground or waste time.
In 2021, the RNC launched an Election Integrity Committee (EIC) and led the charge on legal, political and communications efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Freed from the federal consent decree that limited our ability to engage in ballot security efforts for nearly four decades, we recruited tens of thousands of poll workers and poll watchers to ensure the integrity of our ballots. Our legal team filed over 80 offensive and defensive lawsuits to ensure Republicans had a seat at the table for election day operations.
GOP PLOTS SWING STATE SHAKE-UP TO PREVENT 2024 DEFEATS
The RNC implemented the majority of the recommendations from the EIC and we saw the most robust and effective election integrity operation for Republicans in nearly 50 years. However, I know there are areas where we need to improve and I have called the committee to reconvene to further examine ways to increase Republican participation in early voting, absentee voting and ballot harvesting, where legal. Republicans at the state level must also lead the charge to implement ballot safeguards, including cleaning up voter rolls in their states, through aggressive legislation and litigation, where necessary.
While the RNC invested millions of dollars in trying to persuade voters to vote early, our ecosystem must expand our voter turnout window, change the narrative on early voting, and examine the impact of absentee ballot and early vote chasing in states like Florida and North Carolina, as well as ballot harvesting in California, as a model for the rest of the country. Our party must also address the lack of early vote days for rural Americans and work to ensure that we are adequately chasing ballots, whether early, by mail, or on election day.
The RNC will also establish best practices and guidelines for our candidates up and down the ballot heading into the next cycle. We know that on both sides of the aisle, there are good and bad consultants. Some consultants push candidates to invest only in television ads because they make their money on ad buys. We also know SMS and digital rates vary in a similar fashion. We had many first-time statewide candidates this cycle and helpful guidance on best practices, including a vendor review plan to avoid price gouging close to election day, would be beneficial for our candidates to succeed.
With exit polls showing that Hispanic and Asian support for the GOP jumped 10 and 17 points respectively, and Black voters shifting 4 points to the right, there is no doubt our commitment to minority communities is paying off. We had our best midterm performance ever with Hispanic Americans. The RNC opened 38 minority community centers in 19 battleground states, and I plan to expand our investment by opening more of those centers in areas that Republicans have neglected for decades.
Along with the majority of Republicans, I realized enough was enough with the years of unfair treatment from the biased Commission on Presidential Debates. That’s why in April, the RNC voted to walk away. One of the first tasks of this cycle is simple: to identify a forum for presidential debates that is fair and unbiased for both the primary and general election.
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Our Party works best when we grow from the grassroots up. I’m proud of the fact that for the first time ever, the RNC transferred funds and resources to all 56 state and territory parties this past cycle. We established the “GROW Program” to help strengthen every state party by incentivizing them to expand their political, finance, communications and legal operations.
In addition to empowering the grassroots, Republicans must increase support for our candidates with the youth vote by identifying innovative ways to reach young voters. We need to continue to meet voters of all ages where they are, and have meaningful, two-way conversations while sharing the Republican Party’s message of freedom and opportunity for all Americans.
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Because of our party’s proven message and support from key stakeholders, we have experienced multiple, record-breaking fundraising cycles as a committee. We cannot let up going into 2024, and we must ensure Republican candidates up and down the ballot have the resources necessary to win. Republicans also must continue to innovate and build technology that competes with the Democrats to help close the fundraising gap and I look forward to working with members to explore new and creative ways to engage grassroots donors.
I am so thankful and humbled to have the support of two-thirds of members from the Republican National Committee to seek another term. It is hard to believe that the 2024 presidential cycle has already begun, which is why we need to continue these strategic investments, make the necessary improvements, and stay united to keep the House, take back the Senate, and make Joe Biden a one-term president.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM RNC CHAIRWOMAN RONNA MCDANIEL