Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

College Republicans Launch GOTV Program

The College Republican National Committee on Monday is set to launch “Operation Red November,” a $2 million voter turnout program focused on the presidential contest as well as gubernatorial and Congressional races.

The effort calls for dispatching 63 paid, full-time field staff to 25 states to boost support among younger voters for Republicans running in 111 targeted races. The plan, overseen by a national field director and four regional field directors, has set a goal of 6 million live voter contacts in 15 presidential battlegrounds, 16 Senate races, 73 House races and seven gubernatorial contests.

“The CRNC’s quarter million members provide the boots on the ground for the Republican Party. We will utilize our existing membership and our trained field staff to mobilize a youth effort that has never been seen before in our organization’s history,” CRNC Chairman Alex Schriver said in statement included on the press release outlining the group’s effort.

“We’ve specifically chosen battleground states where winning the youth vote will make or break this election,” he added.

Earlier this year, the CRNC discussed with Roll Call its plans to leverage its national membership to volunteer on behalf of Republican candidates, and specifically to target college students and young professionals. The CRNC claims 250,000 members and plans to log 100,000 volunteer hours conducting get-out-the-vote activities as a part of the Operation Red November program.

Although Operation Red November might appear minimal compared with the voter turnout operations conducted by the presidential campaigns and other third-party groups, Schriver says he believes the program could be particularly effective given its strategy. The states and races included in the effort were chosen in part based on whether there was a healthy university community located in or near the state or district from which to draw volunteers.

The plan calls for the CRNC to operate in 25 states that are either competitive at the presidential level or host contested House, Senate and gubernatorial races: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, North Dakota, California, Montana and Washington.

Meanwhile, the CRNC has also joined with other conservative groups, such as American Crossroads, to form Crossroads Generation, a pro-Republican super PAC.

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