“We are far ahead of the Democrats heading into the midterms,” said Juston Johnson, the RNC’s political director.
One Democrat called her remarks “f—— b——-.” Another called them “absurd.”
But no matter what Democrats may think, Republicans have seized on Hillary Clinton’s criticism last week of the Democratic National Committee’s data operation, which she called “mediocre to poor” and “nonexistent.”
The RNC, which struggled with its data operations relative to Democrats during the 2008 and 2012 elections, pumped more than $175 million into its infrastructure over the last four years, which it says yielded a rich voter file and strong analytics program. Now, the RNC is also promising to send data directors into two dozen battleground states in 2018.
“We are far ahead of the Democrats heading into the midterms,” said Juston Johnson, the RNC’s political director. “I think, without question, our product is better than anything that they’ve got on the other side.”
One example of the Republicans’ use of data from 2016 comes out of Wisconsin, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) won reelection in a race that many prognosticators predicted would go blue.
Johnson pointed to the 2016 Wisconsin Senate race as an example, where there were voters in northern Wisconsin who strongly supported President Donald Trump but were less enthusiastic about GOP Sen. Ron Johnson.
“We found that the issue of removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list in northern Wisconsin was a big deal, where they were killing farm animals, but you couldn’t do anything about it,” the RNC’s Johnson said. “The [Ron] Johnson campaign used that and targeted that universe on that specific issue online, in radio ads, in mail and in the field.”
Johnson went on to win over Democrat Russ Feingold by just over a three-point margin.
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