In conversations with leading Republican digital strategists, there’s an acknowledgment that the path to closing the tech gap will be difficult. Republicans are a more hierarchical party and rely on many of the same consultants that have been around since the days of Ronald Reagan. These digital-first Republican operatives argue that Democrats could have the advantage for years to come unless significant changes are made to the way the party conducts its business. …

Give ideas room to breathe, and engage GOP techies.

Several GOP strategists said that there are plenty of tech-savvy conservatives who could lend a lot of help to campaigns, but they lack experience on the trail. So they’re usually passed over for jobs in favor of more-seasoned campaign veterans. …

Come to terms with the hierarchical nature of the party.

Democrats successfully engaged and empowered their grassroots activists. On the flip side, the often-tense relationship between the GOP establishment and tea-party base has made it tough for the party to compete. The problem becomes even more complex once outside groups are thrown into the mix, since they can’t coordinate with official campaigns or parties.