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RNC Chair: Virginia Election Was Successful ‘Test Run’ for 2022 Midterm Strategy

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., February 28, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Ronna McDaniel said Friday that the GOP wins in this week’s elections in Virginia showed that the party’s get-out-the-vote efforts have been successful. She also said that the committee plans to scale up its efforts ahead of the 2022 midterms, when Republicans hope to take back the House and Senate.

“Virginia was a great test run for next year and it was successful,” McDaniel told Fox News during an interview at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting. 

“We had 120 staff on the ground,” she said. “We had 13 offices and we were really, really, effective at finding unexpected votes. We found 100,000 unexpected voters, which was a key factor in winning.”

With the help of the committee, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become governor of Virginia, where Republicans hadn’t won a statewide election in a dozen years.

While a Democratic National Committee official noted that McAuliffe “came up short,” the official argued that the DNC’s investments of nearly $6 million in cash and direct contributions to the race “clearly paid off” given that turnout among Democrats also soared compared to the previous gubernatorial race four years ago.

“Democratic turnout was strong across the board, with McAuliffe winning almost 50% more votes than last time he was on the ballot in 2013 and even exceeded the enthusiastic turnout for Ralph Northam in 2017,” the DNC official told the outlet. “We believe this was in large part due to the Democratic Party of Virginia’s strong coordinated campaign, which was largely funded by the DNC, and the DNC’s distributed organizing program.”

McDaniel told Fox News that the committee is already gearing up for 2022.

“We’re already doing voter registration,” she said. “We’re already building up our staff across the country. We already have 300 staff across the country. We’re opening engagement centers in Hispanic, Asian, and African-American communities,” McDaniel said. “This is already beginning. It will just be a lot bigger scale than Virginia. But the RNC’s already on the ground everywhere.”

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