As you know November 4th was a day in which Republican candidates overwhelmed the nation with sweeping wins at the ballot box. Here in Arizona we swept all eight open seats in the executive branch and held our party’s majorities in both houses of the state legislature. How did it happen? Let’s ask Eric Morgan, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party’s Legislative District 22 Committee, located west of Phoenix.
Eric is an example for Republicans around the state of how a district leader can run a successful victory effort completely with volunteers. With 64,000 registered Republicans out of 136,000 total voters, he had his work cut out for him. With nearly 70% of those Republicans receiving early ballots, Morgan’s efforts were focused on ensuring they voted and mailed them in. His team started before early ballots went out, and did not let up until the polls closed a month later. In fact, a day before the election more than 27,000 Republicans had already voted, thanks in large part to Morgan’s team. That’s a Republican turnout of 42% three days before election day.
Morgan credited his team’s success to the local precinct committeemen, or PCs, the elected party workers from each and every neighborhood in the district. “It’s the American people that make America great and I believe in them. I believe in their abilities to come together and overcome any problem. My overall strategy is to encourage and empower people to make the things they want happen. It all starts with the precinct committeemen of our local district.” Morgan’s statement rings true not only for local elections, but also for statewide and national elections. Mobilization at the grassroots is necessary to ensure success at the grasstops.
It’s not enough to simply motivate the volunteers you have, you have to recruit, train and empower others to build a critical mass to get the job done. Morgan’s district has elected a whopping 161 PCs, compared to a paltry 29 for the Democrat Party in the district.
Morgan’s most successful endeavor was called the Golden Ticket project, which represented more than just traditional campaign literature. The project brought together PCs from around the district to share knowledge and information. The PCs were able to themselves pick the best candidates in each neighborhood. “It doesn’t get any more ‘Big Tent’ than that” said Morgan. Volunteer walk teams distributed about 45,000 Golden Tickets.
In performing these efforts to mobilize voters, Morgan’s team used technology provided by the Arizona Republican Party to reach households in the district. Working in teams, walkers were trained to use these high-tech tools and data to execute walks and target prospective voters effortlessly. Volunteers felt empowered to rally their efforts by going out and walking in neighborhoods to reach voters. “We already understood the importance of what we were doing but it’s amazing how hard we will all work when we have the tools we need and the knowledge that what we do will make a difference,” said Morgan.
Eric Morgan’s leadership illustrates the aggressiveness put forth by Republicans, allowing them to secure their victory in Arizona. When explaining these achievements, Morgan emphasized the importance of precinct committeemen and their ground efforts. “This is really what the Republican Party is all about, giving people the tools and support they need to leave their own mark.”