The RNC Man of the Hour: Reince Priebus


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Reince Priebus has done a surprisingly good job keeping himself in the news.

The Republican National Committee chair recently gained widespread coverage for his threat to end Republican primary debates on CNN and NBC unless both networks pulled support for a Hillary Clinton documentary in the works. The RNC officially voted on and approved the measure earlier this month, marking a major victory for Priebus’ plan to reform the primary process. As a result, he’s seen a big uptick in his national and beltway media coverage in the past month.

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At first the news numbers don’t seem especially impressive for the head of the RNC, but the committee heads rarely get much dedicated media attention. For comparison, here’s national news stories on Priebus vs Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

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The big jump at the end of July came from Wasserman Schultz’s call for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign. Beyond that, there’s been little movement for her either way. The same pattern can be found on Facebook talking abouts, where Priebus has much more activity.

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It’s an open question how much the discrepancy in national presence matters for the heads of the respective committees. Although the RNC has outraised the DNC every month this year and the DNC is significantly in debt, it’s possible that Democrats may just be giving their money differently. Organizing For Action, a pro-Obama political group, has already raised more than $10 million this year. And the Democrat’s Congressional and the Senatorial campaign committees both outraised their Republican counterparts.

Either way, Priebus’ actions have gotten a lot of buzz. And whether or not different parties give differently, he’s been effective in getting money to his organization. We’ll be keeping an eye on Preibus’ metrics to see how they change in the aftermath of his debate efforts.

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