GOP committee memo outlines ‘aggressive’ absentee, early voting effort in Virginia

EXCLUSIVE: The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) issued a memo Thursday explaining its “aggressive” strategy on a newly launched absentee ballot and early voting effort as Virginians prepare to vote in the November general election. The RSLC announced last week that it’s partnering with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC, the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus (VSRC), and the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) to launch an effort called, “Secure Your Vote Virginia.” RSLC President Dee Duncan issued a memo Thursday laying out a plan to reach “low-propensity voters” in an effort to keep control of the state House and chip away at the Democrats’ four-seat majority in the state Senate. YOUNGKIN AD DECLARES ‘PARENTS STILL MATTER’ AMID 2024 SPECULATION “Heading into the general election in 2023 this fall, it is our job to defend our razor-thin majority in the House of Delegates while capitalizing on the opportunities available to us in the Virginia Senate where Democrats currently hold a four-seat advantage,” Duncan wrote. “We need to set the bar higher and start comparing ourselves against the constellation of national liberal outside groups that drastically outspent us last cycle.” Duncan said the outreach will focus on three issues they believe resonate the most with Virginia voters: education, the economy and crime. “Simply put, the past two election cycles taught Republicans that we need to do better when it comes to absentee and early voting,” he wrote. “By implementing an absentee and early voting program that will target low propensity voters, we feel confident that a significant increase in turnout of these types of voters will help us win elections at the margins. Democrats were very effective in targeting low propensity voters around the country in 2022, and we must start combating this strategic advantage in Virginia.” “Republicans have another strong group of diverse candidates heading into the general election, with effective messaging and a data-driven strategy to boost Republican turnout while the Democrats are coming off of a divisive primary that created an even more radicalized group of Virginia Democrats,” he continued.  “This is good news for Republicans, but do not be fooled,” Duncan added. “Democrats will be energized, and they will be backed with larger sums of money from national liberal outside groups who want to take back trifecta power in Virginia and disband the great work Gov. Youngkin and his Republican allies in Richmond have been able to accomplish.” Voters selected dozens of nominees during the state primary last month in Virginia, which is one of just a few states that have its legislative races in odd-numbered years. The unusual calendar and quasi-swing state status make Virginia a must-watch in gauging voter sentiment ahead of the 2024 elections. Youngkin, who has not 100% ruled out a White House run next year, first announced the effort in a live appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” Youngkin energized Republicans nationwide in 2021 as the first-time candidate who hailed from the party’s business wing edged out former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to become the first GOP candidate in a dozen years to win a gubernatorial election in Virginia. Republicans also won the elections for lieutenant governor and state attorney general. Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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