May 2, 2012

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Announces Ohio Victory Director

WASHINGTON - Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement announcing the 2012 Ohio Victory Director, Mike Bir:

"Ohio is poised to be the make or break state in November and I can't think of a better candidate than Mike Bir to move us forward to victory in Ohio this November," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "The RNC is poised to run the most comprehensive voter outreach and turnout operation in Ohio history and Bir will help ensure we make more phone calls, knock on more doors, and make more volunteer voter contacts than ever before. In the wake of 3.5 years of President Obama's failed policies and broken promises, Ohioans are ready for a change in Washington and the RNC's Ohio Victory Program will ensure we send Mitt Romney to the White House in 2012."

In addition to traditional on-the-ground voter turnout efforts, the RNC is also introducing the Social Victory Center in Ohio today, which will open new doors for engagement and play a large part in the Victory program. No other campaign or committee has developed the same technology to harness the power and reach of Facebook in this way; it is a new frontier in digital activism. Learn more and get the app here 


Mike Bir has served as the Ohio Republican Party Victory Director since December of 2010. In his time as OHGOP Victory Director he helped oversee the defeat of President Obama's signature piece of legislation, ObamaCare, on the ballot last November. Bir previously headed up the RNC's Ohio Victory Field Operations during the 2010 Republican sweep.


ICYMI: Highlights from RNC Conference Call on Ohio

May 2, 2012

RNC Political Director Rick Wiley:  

"Everyone knows the importance of Ohio. It is a classic swing state. It usually predicts who will wins the presidency and I think this year will be no different. If you look at Obama headed to Ohio on Saturday, going to Ohio State University for what is technically his first campaign rally, which is sort of a joke considering that he has flown around and landed in every swing state but it's always 'official' events but for the first time the taxpayers money won't be fully on the hook for this one. It signifies how important Ohio is. There have been dozens of visits to the state by the president, which tells me and tells us here at the RNC that he has a problem there. Obviously the poll numbers do not look great for him and so he has to try to shore up the base.

"You look at what's happened in Ohio too and like many Midwestern states, many states across the country quite frankly, we swept all the statewide offices in Ohio in 2010, we picked up the Governor obviously, we held our US Senate seat, we picked up 3 statewide offices, the Secretary of State, the AG, and the treasurer, and we picked up 5 US House seats. That is about as good a year that you can have in a state that is that important to the presidency. You know you have 55% of Ohioans believe the president has the country going on the wrong track, 53% disapprove of his handling of the economy, and everyone knows this race will be about jobs and the economy. The other thing that often gets overlooked, there was a collective bargaining issue on the ballot in of November of '11, but what was also on the ballot was ObamaCare, the signature piece of legislation of the 3 ½ years of this president. When Ohioans were able to go to the voting booth and vote on ObamaCare, it was voted down in all 88 counties. So, while Democrat strategists, you know the Ed Shultz of the world, they will tell you that this election in Ohio and Wisconsin will be about collective bargaining, this is going to be about jobs and the economy and ObamaCare and the excessive spending that this president has had. I feel good about Ohio.

"We're using part of this call to announce that we've hired our Victory Director, a guy name Mike Bir. He works at the Ohio party. He is going to join the RNC. He has extensive experience running voter contact and get out the vote efforts in Ohio. I believe he is the best person for the job. We're excited to welcome him on board and get our ground game moving in Ohio. It's going to be important. We're going to open offices across the state, and start with the voter identification. One of the things that has changed this year at the RNC is...we used to do the brick and mortar. We'd have victory centers across the state....There are 35 states out there that are really red or really blue and those activists they can't engage in the process. We wanted to figure out a way to harness the internet, social media, all of those things to make sure that we had a tool available not only to activists in Ohio, and other battleground states, but to non-battleground states...We came up with something called the Social Victory Center."


Andrew Abdel-Malik, RNC Digital Team:

"We built the platform entirely on Facebook. It's really tapped into a lot of the social offerings from Facebook; one of those being something called open graph. That means everything that you read, watch, RSVP for on the application, whether that's a phone bank event or a door canvassing event, all that automatically gets shared to your friends. So on average there are 261 friends, so we're amplifying our message and our events every time someone simply takes an action within the application. We're happy about that and its ability to tap into social and really spread our message.

"A couple of things I did want to point out, as Wiley said is there are opportunities within here, filling out AB [Absentee Ballot] applications...a couple of the other highlights in here.

"We have a really strong events section, you can locate events near you, whether that's phone banking, live streaming, they could be virtual events, everything is really located within this, and we're also encouraging people to create their own events. So it has a very low barrier of entry but we want people to organize, to have those meet-ups, to get together in their local communities and spread the word. One additional thing to that in our volunteer section, is our phone from home capabilities...

"One of the final things I do want to point out is that some of our downloadable content. This is an opportunity where people can collect information, cool info graphics, talking points, things of the like, and really share them within their community and within the local level."

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