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Republicans eye new data, fundraising programs


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The financial reports for the Missouri Republican Party showed a slow third quarter as they prepare to rollout a new program aimed at small-dollar donors.

The party has a little over $46,000 on hand after having spent more than $100,000 in the last quarter while only brining in about $98,000. More than half of all the money raised by the state came in just two donations. Both Emerson Electric Co., and the House Republican Campaign Committee wrote checks for $25,000 or more.

While the Republicans still have almost twice as much cash on hand as the state Democrats, who are holding about $28,000 in the bank right now, the numbers don’t look good when compared to other off years for the party. During 2007, the party had more than $200,000 on hand by the October filing deadline, and since 2009, the party has never had less than $300,000 on hand in October.

Missouri Republican Party Communications Director Matt Wills said the comparison wasn’t a fair one, and says economics is a factor as well.

“There isn’t a lot happening across the state going into 2014,” Wills said. “You don’t have a presidential race, and while all House members in Congress are running, we don’t have a senatorial contest. The only statewide race we’re seeing will be the re-election bid of Auditor [Tom] Schweich. So I think comparing money now to last year or two years ago or anything, I think that’s not the best measurement for how we are as a party.”

Ed Martin, Chairman of the MRP
Ed Martin, Chairman of the MRP

The party is also planning on announcing a new program, the “Mighty Missouri Victory Crew,” which will focus on small-dollar donations. And while large-scale donations have been scant in recent months for the party, Wills said this new program came from an inherent need to seek small dollar donors across the state.

“This program was necessitated from the need of cultivating small dollar donors on the statewide level,” Wills said. “As a way to engage those folks, this is going to be a great way to engage those folks and let them feel like they have some ownership of their party.”

For $99 per month, members of the “Victory Crew” will have access to member only events, quarterly phone calls from the party about the state of fundraising and campaigns, as well as first access to information from the party before the general public sees it.

“A lot of what we will offer wouldn’t be available unless you were a state committee member,” Wills said.

The party is also awaiting the rollout of data from the Republican National Committee.

The RNC is releasing new data rolls for the country next month, featuring the kind of targeted analytics used by President Obama’s reelection campaign. While the state currently maintains and operates its own voter information database, the “Voter Vault” (the new rollout from the RNC) will feature more data points and a more expansive set of information for each voter.

Wills said there was no cost to the state party so long as they didn’t change their own software, but that there were “considerable” resources dedicated to the process by the RNC.

“It’s expensive and it takes time to do something like this,” Wills said. “When they roll it out on the national scale it’ll have taken a lot of work, but it’ll be more user friendly and more robust.”

With fourth quarter filings typically more moderate than their third quarter counterparts, the new data rollout and donor program could prove useful to a state party who’s fundraising has slowed following a difficult veto session and a summer-long fight over a tax cut bill.