Political Party/527

Republican National Committee

GOP Square (link)
Website:

www.gop.com

Type:

Formal Governing Body of the Republican Party

Chair:

Ronna Romney McDaniel

Formation:

1856

Co-Chair:

Tommy Hicks

Finance Chair:

Todd Ricketts

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is the formal governing body of the Republican Party in the United States. The committee is responsible for supporting Republican nominees for President and Vice President of the United States as well as providing support to Republican Party nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

The committee is responsible for organizing the quadrennial Republican National Convention that nominates candidates for President and Vice President and adopts a party platform, as well as for providing oversight to state-level Republican Party committees. [1] The committee is a major funding source for Republican campaigns and is closely tied to other official Republican campaign committees including the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Ronna McDaniel has served as the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee since 2017; she is the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party. [2]

As one of the two major political party committees in the United States, the Republican National Committee is among the largest funders of national and congressional Republican campaigns in the country. The committee raised over $890 million during the 2020 presidential campaign cycle and spent $830 million. The committee transfers funds to state Republican parties and spends large amounts of money on digital and television advertising and marketing as well as making independent expenditures directly on behalf of Republican presidential candidates and candidates in competitive races across the country. [3]

The Republican National Committee’s Democratic counterpart is the Democratic National Committee (DNC). [4]

History

The Republican National Committee is the national embodiment of the Republican Party in the United States. The committee was formed at the party’s first national convention in Philadelphia in 1856 shortly after the formation of the Republican Party. The beginnings of the Republican Party date back to an initial meeting of anti-slavery politicians and activists in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854. The initial members of the party were previous members of the Whig Party, the Free-Soil Party, as well as anti-slavery Democrats. The first meeting of the party was to protest the Kansas-Nebraska and Fugitive Slave Acts, which helped cause the Bleeding Kansas conflict. The 1856 inaugural convention of the party was held in June of that year in Philadelphia and the convention delegates nominated retired Army officer and former U.S. Senator John C. Fremont of California as its presidential candidate. The convention also considered nominating former U.S. Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for Vice President, but he ultimately came in second place to former U.S. Senator William Dayton of New Jersey. [5] The convention also appointed the first members of the Republican National Committee, which had previously been formed informally to issue the convention call. [6]

The first Republican presidential ticket lost to Democrat James Buchanan, who was catapulted to victory by winning his home state of Pennsylvania narrowly and due to the fact that former President Millard Fillmore ran under the American (Know Nothing) Party banner and garnered some of the northern anti-slavery vote. [7] The most notable event in the infancy of the Republican party was Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the election of 1860, becoming the first Republican president and shepherding the country through the Civil War. [8]

Following the Civil War, Republicans dominated national politics during Reconstruction and throughout much of the rest of the 19th century. Republican majorities in Congress ushered through the 13th amendment banning slavery and passed legislation that attempted to protect the rights of African Americans, including the right of black men to vote. [9]

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, the Republican National Committee continued to grow as the central voice of the Republican Party in the United States. Branding activities of both Republican and Democratic National Committees suggest that national party committees have been responsible for party branding in the national media, particularly when the party is out of power in the White House. As with Democrats, it became common that incumbent Republican Presidents were seen as the de facto party leader, with the RNC stepping back and providing a supporting role to a Republican president’s political agenda as well as providing support to his reelection campaign. [10]

The chair of the Republican National Committee is seen as among the most notable leaders of the Republican Party, serving as a spokesperson for the party’s national agenda and political activity. During times that a Republican is occupying the White House, the President hand-selects the chair of the RNC. The most notable chairman in the history of the committee was George H.W. Bush, who was selected by President Richard Nixon to lead the party after he had served as Nixon’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Bush led the RNC during the Watergate scandal and upon the release of the Watergate tapes, he informed Nixon that he had lost the support of the Republican Party. Bush remains the only President to have served as RNC chair. [11]

Organizational Structure

The Republican National Committee’s membership consists of 168 individuals, which includes a national committeeman and committeewoman from each state as well as from the District of Columbia and the U.S. possessions of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Committee membership also includes the state/territorial Republican Party chairs from each state and territory. Election of the members of the committee and party chairs varies from state to state, with some state laws designating the election of committee members in a Republican primary and others elected by an internal state party convention, committee, caucus, or the state’s national committee delegation. [12]

The RNC is led by a chairman and co-chairman that are bound by rules of the party to be of the opposite sex. The chair and co-chair are elected by the members of the RNC but do not need to be sitting members of the committee to be elected. Both individuals are full-time, salaried employees of the RNC and the chair is designated at the chief executive of the committee and has oversight of its staff and activities. The co-chairman’s role is more ambiguously defined as performing duties as assigned by the chair. [13]

Officers of the RNC also include eight total vice chairs who are elected from four regional groups of committee members, with each region required to elect one male and one female vice chair. The committee also elects a secretary and treasurer of the committee from its membership and the chairman is tasked with appointing a general counsel and finance committee chairman for the committee. [14]

Republican National Convention

Among the primary public-facing activities of the Republican National Committee is organizing the Republican National Convention which is held every four years during the summer of a presidential election year. The convention’s purpose is to formally nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States as well as formally reorganize the Republican National Committee and adopt a party platform and party rules which govern the activity and dictate the composition of the committee. The total number of delegates to the national convention vary slightly from year to year, with 2,550 taking part in the 2020 convention. The rules of the party lay out the method by which delegates are allocated to each state, with each state getting at least ten at-large delegates and three delegates from each of its congressional districts. States are also allocated at-large delegates based on how Republican-leaning the given state is, with one delegate awarded for having a Republican Governor, one for each Republican U.S. Senator, one each for Republican control of a state legislative chamber, and one for having voted for the Republican Presidential candidate in the last election. [15]

Delegates are bound on who they may vote for on the first ballot for President and Vice President based on candidate performance in their state’s presidential primary or caucus. The individuals serving as delegates themselves are elected through a variety of state or congressional district level primaries, caucuses, and conventions. [16]

Affiliated Republican Committees

The Republican National Committee is closely affiliated with the Republican campaign committees for the U.S. Senate and House Republican conferences: The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Both organizations coordinate campaign activities with the RNC and fundraise to provide support to Republican congressional candidates in their respective chambers with the goal of reclaiming or retaining the majority in the chamber. [17]

Leadership

Since 2017, the Chair of the Republican National Committee has been Ronna Romney McDaniel. McDaniel was chosen for the job by President Donald Trump following his election. McDaniel previously had worked as the state chair of the Michigan Republican Party since 2015 and gained Trump’s attention and support to lead the RNC after Trump’s upset 2016 win in Michigan. McDaniel is the granddaughter of the late George Romney, a well-known politician who served as Michigan Governor and in President Richard Nixon’s cabinet. She has been active in politics since childhood and as a young adult served as the driver for her mother, Ronna Romney, when she ran for United States Senate. McDaniel is the niece of Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), and her staunch support of Donald Trump was often the subject of media attention when contrasted with Senator Romney’s criticism of the former President. McDaniel was reelected to another term as RNC chair in January 2021 with little opposition and is now one of the longest serving RNC chairs. [18]

In April 2021, McDaniel floated the idea of launching a campaign for Governor of Michigan against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) during a closed-door RNC meeting in which she criticized Whitmer’s COVID-19 response and became emotional discussing the effects of school closures on her children. [19]

The co-chair of the RNC is Tommy Hicks, Jr. Hicks is described as a fierce ally of the Trump family and was the chair of the America First PAC during the 2020 Trump Campaign. Hicks is a private equity investor from Dallas, Texas, and the son of investor Tom Hicks, who at one point owned the Texas Rangers baseball team, the Dallas Stars hockey team, and English soccer team Liverpool F.C. Hicks was chosen for the position by then-President Trump in 2017 and wielded influence during the Trump administration by leveraging his longtime personal friendship with Donald Trump, Jr. At one point Hicks was criticized for helping arrange a meeting for a friend with substantial Chinese investments to present on the Chinese economy at a Treasury Department meeting. [20] Hicks was reelected as RNC co-chair in 2021 in a competitive race against several individuals that were not as aligned with former President Trump. [21]

The finance chairman of the RNC is generally a wealthy individual who assists in leading fundraising for the committee and bundles donations from other wealthy donors. The current RNC finance chair is Todd Ricketts, the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, who was appointed to the position with the backing of President Donald Trump after his nomination by Trump to become Deputy Secretary of Commerce fell through due to him being able to untangle his complicated personal financial holdings to satisfy federal ethics laws. [22]

Funding

The Republican National Committee is among the top political campaign funding organizations in the United States. The organization raises large sums of money to spend for Republican candidates at all levels. [23] Party rules only allow the RNC to support candidates who have secured the Republican nomination for the office in which they are running. [24]

RNC support for Republican campaigns comes in a variety of forms including direct transfers to candidate and joint fundraising committees, funding of state parties, and spending and creating ads on behalf of candidates. [25]

The RNC raised far more money during the 2020 election campaign cycle than it ever had previously, for a total of $890 million[26], contrasted with $492 million raised by the Democratic National Committee. [27] The RNC’s spending in 2020 totaled $833 million with some of the larger spending categories including over $100 million allocated to advertising, $35 million to fundraising, and $22 million to fund salaries of staff across the country. [28] The RNC also reported over $80 million in reportable independent expenditures. [29]

The RNC’s spending of $833 million in 2020 compares to its prior spending of $326 million in 2018, $323 million in 2016, $194 million in 2014, and $386 million in 2012. [30]

References

  1. “Republican National Committee: Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-national-cmte/C00003418/summary/2020 ^
  2. “Rules of the Republican Party.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf?_ga=2.129435403.66220827.1620172130-1585535377.1620172130 ^
  3. “Republican National Committee: Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-national-cmte/C00003418/summary/2020 ^
  4. “Home.” Democratic National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021.  https://democrats.org/ ^
  5. https://www.ushistory.org/gop/convention_1856.htm ^
  6. “Proceedings of the First Three Republican National Conventions of 1856, 1860 and 1864.” Nabu Press. September 12, 2011. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/Proceedings-first-Republican-national-conventions/dp/1245120301 ^
  7. Cooper, William. “James Buchanan: Campaigns and Elections. UVA Miller Center. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://millercenter.org/president/buchanan/campaigns-and-elections ^
  8. “Republican Party.” History. April 4, 2018. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.history.com/topics/us-politics/republican-party ^
  9. “Republican Party.” History. April 4, 2018. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.history.com/topics/us-politics/republican-party ^
  10. Heersink, Boris. “Examining Democratic and Republican National Committee Party Branding Activity, 1953–2012.” Cambridge University Press. March 23, 2021. Accessed May 7, 2021.  https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/abs/examining-democratic-and-republican-national-committee-party-branding-activity-19532012/802134F756C75CD7492A37072A2E50D6 ^
  11. Knott, Stephen. “George H. W. Bush, Life Before the Presidency.” UVA Miller Center. Accessed May 7, 2021  https://millercenter.org/president/bush/life-before-the-presidency ^
  12. “Rules of the Republican Party.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf?_ga=2.129435403.66220827.1620172130-1585535377.1620172130 ^
  13. “Rules of the Republican Party.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf?_ga=2.129435403.66220827.1620172130-1585535377.1620172130 ^
  14. “Rules of the Republican Party.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf?_ga=2.129435403.66220827.1620172130-1585535377.1620172130 ^
  15. “What you need to know about the Republican National Convention and how it works.” WBTV 3. January 24, 2020. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.wbtv.com/2020/01/18/what-you-need-know-about-republican-national-convention-how-it-works/ ^
  16. “What you need to know about the Republican National Convention and how it works.” WBTV 3. January 24, 2020. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.wbtv.com/2020/01/18/what-you-need-know-about-republican-national-convention-how-it-works/ ^
  17. “Leaders.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.gop.com/leaders/national/ ^
  18. Dawsey, Josh. “RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is trying to hold together a party that Donald Trump might want to tear up.” Washington Post. January 29, 2021. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/ronna-mcdaniel-interview-trump-republican-party/2021/01/28/c2cbc93e-5770-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html ^
  19. Isenstadt, Alex. “RNC Chair McDaniel floated possible Michigan governor run.” Politico. April 22, 2021. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/22/ronna-mcdaniel-michigan-governor-484198 ^
  20. Pearson, Jake. Want to Meet with the Trump Administration? Donald Trump Jr.’s Hunting Buddy Can Help.” ProPublica. July 22, 2019. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-tommy-hicks-jr-donald-trump-jr-hunting-buddy ^
  21. Pearson, Jake. Want to Meet with the Trump Administration? Donald Trump Jr.’s Hunting Buddy Can Help.” ProPublica. July 22, 2019. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-tommy-hicks-jr-donald-trump-jr-hunting-buddy ^
  22. Sweet, Lynn. “Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts reups as Republican National Committee finance chair; led Trump reelection fundraising drive.” Chicago Sun-Times. February 3, 2021. https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2021/2/3/22265262/cubs-todd-ricketts-reups-republican-national-committee-finance-chair-led-trump-fundraising ^
  23. “Republican National Committee.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-national-cmte/C00003418/summary/2020 ^
  24. “Rules of the Republican Party.” Republican National Committee. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/docs/Rules_Of_The_Republican_Party.pdf?_ga=2.129435403.66220827.1620172130-1585535377.1620172130 ^
  25. “Republican National Committee: Expenditures.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/national-republican-congressional-cmte/C00075820/expenditures/2020 ^
  26. “Republican National Committee: Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-national-cmte/C00003418/summary/2020 ^
  27. “Democratic National Committee: Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021.  https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/totals.php?cmte=DNC&cycle=2020 ^
  28. “Republican National Committee: Expenditures.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/national-republican-congressional-cmte/C00075820/expenditures/2020 ^
  29. “Republican National Committee: Expenditures.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021.  https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/national-republican-congressional-cmte/C00075820/independent-expenditures/2020 ^
  30. “Republican National Committee: Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/republican-national-cmte/C00003418/summary/2020 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Saul Anuzis
    Failed Candidate for Chairman (2009, 2011)
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