Can Republicans move the needle in 2016 among demographics the party needs to remain nationally competitive? The RNC will roll out a big ad campaign trying to show the diversity and new blood within the Grand Old Party, emphasizing the party’s approach on economic and social policies, especially in the form of limited government. As ABC News notes, this is the first campaign in 2016 that will explicitly answer the questions raised in its 2013 “Growth and Opportunity Project,” better known to most as “the autopsy”:
ABC News got a sneak peek at the “Where You Lead, Others Will Follow” ad campaign featuring a diverse group of Republicans that are already active in the party. The series features a former prostitute; a 9/11 firefighter in The Bronx, New York; the son of Haitian immigrants and a mentor from Queens, New York; a mother of a child with autism from Tampa, Florida; and a first generation Hispanic American college student from Pueblo, Colorado.
Vallerie, the former prostitute, says in the ad her mother passed away when she was jail and she was “not allowed to go to her funeral.”
“I had this epiphany and realized I didn’t need to live like this,” she said, adding she has “already started organizing within my neighborhood.”
Pierry, the son of Haitian immigrants from Queens, said when his parents came to the United States they “didn’t speak the language, didn’t understand the culture,” but he got involved with the GOP because he “wanted to be the best version of myself.”
Those featured in the ad are volunteer leaders in the RNC’s Republican Leadership Initiative Program, an initiative launched last year to recruit and train GOP field organizers.
This is mostly an on-line campaign, as the spots are all lengthy introductions to the volunteer leaders within the RNC’s new ground game. The RNC will run versions of these ads during the debate in South Carolina, with a $250,000 buy. The spots are all well-made individually, but the campaign is designed to work cumulatively, not individually. “Pierry: Queens, NY” may be the most compelling, especially for its highlighting of the kind of bootstrap story that Republican economic policies are meant to encourage:
On a more subtle level, this also shows the emphasis that the RNC has placed on intensive investment in the ground game. The idea is to duplicate what Barack Obama did in 2008 and again in 2012 no matter who the GOP’s nominee ends up being. I saw some of this when researching my upcoming book Going Red, coming in mid-April for Crown Forum, and know that this is absolutely critical to winning swing states in the general election. Based on my research, it’s clear that these ads reflect a broad ground organization, rather than just an ad campaign in itself.
Here are the other ads that comprise this campaign. Vallerie’s story is heartbreaking, but is ultimately a story of redemption:
Katherine in Tampa explains how government aid puts pressure on families to split and discourages individual action:
Mario represents the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants:
Mike is a Bronx firefighter who became one of the 9/11 first responders, and he’s used his life to give back to the community in other ways as well: