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RNC chairman: GOP takeover of Congress could break D.C. gridlock

NC Chairman Reince Priebus spoke to a crowd in the Jack Morton Auditorium Thursday morning about the prospects of a GOP Congressional majority. Daniel Rich | Hatchet Photographer
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus spoke in the Jack Morton Auditorium on Thursday about the prospects of a GOP congressional majority. Daniel Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Updated: Oct. 3, 2014 at 5:07 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Andrew Goudsward. 

The head of the Republican National Committee spoke Thursday on campus about the possibility of a GOP-held Congress with just over a month until the midterm elections.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in the Jack Morton Auditorium that a fully Republican legislature could finally break the gridlock on Capitol Hill. Republicans are widely expected to retain control of the House of Representatives and most predictions give the GOP an advantage in retaking the Senate.

“I actually think things can get done. The president’s going to have to make a deal, he’s going to have to sign something,” Priebus said.

Priebus cited improved poll numbers for Republicans among women and young voters, two groups that sided with President Barack Obama in the last two elections and have trended to the Democrats’ advantage.

“Barack Obama is making our case as well,” he said, adding that the Affordable Care Act was designed to “screw young people over.”

With an eye toward 2016, Priebus said Republicans still have work to do, especially to improve their ground operation.

“We’ve become a midterm party that doesn’t lose and a presidential party that doesn’t win,” he said.

After his speech, Priebus sat down with GW’s Lara Brown, political management program director for the Graduate School of Political Management, to discuss the state of the RNC and the Republican Party as it tries to appeal to voters heading to the polls in November.

Priebus has been viewed as a reformer in the RNC since taking over as chairman in 2011. He said the committee had decided “that it was OK to show up once every four years, five months before an election.”

“We had become a U-Haul trailer of cash for a presidential nominee, and that is a loser strategy,” Priebus said.

The RNC has stepped up its digital presence, Priebus said, and is using data to specifically target likely voters and specific demographics, and can now scale a voter’s likelihood of voting for a Republican candidate.

“We have to be a national party obsessed over mechanics,” he said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly identified Lara Brown as the director of the Graduate School of Political Management. She is GSPM’s political management program director. We regret this error.

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