Exclusive – Ned Ryun: Republicans Need to Embrace a ‘Ballot Chase Program’

People deposit their mail-in ballots for the US presidential election at a ballot collection box in Phoenix, Arizona on October 18, 2020. - Arizona is one of the eight critical swing states, along with Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that will determine the outcome of the …
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Ned Ryun — the CEO of American Majority, one of the leading conservative activist groups — told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday over the weekend that Republicans must embrace “ballot chasing” if they hope to be competitive in 2024.

At the top of the segment, Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle asked Ryun what went wrong for the GOP in the November 8 elections, in which they took a very slim majority in the House of Representatives and squandered a prime opportunity to secure a Senate majority.

“I think Republicans have forgotten how to execute certain fundamentals of elections that they used to do very well decades ago,” said Ryun. “In fact … the Florida Republican Party still does this one thing very well, which is an absentee ballot chase program.”

“Obviously, people can request absentee ballots,” Ryan said, expanding on the ballot chase strategy. “They are then mailed to households, depending on the state call it four to six weeks before the actual election, and it’s public knowledge. These people have requested absentee ballots; they are now in possession of these absentee ballots, and then an absentee ballot chase program is how do you get as many of those people to actually return the ballots.”

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Breitbart · Ned Ryun – December 3, 2022

He added that the Florida GOP’s ballot chase program has been crucial to Republican success in the Sunshine State in recent years. Ryun noted that its program costs about $10 million and “becomes a series of phone calls, mail-pieces, texts, door knocks” aimed at getting as many Republican voters’ ballots returned as possible before election day.

The GOP ground game in other parts of the country, including key battleground states, was not as effective as it was in Florida, Ryun suggested.

“Look at Pennsylvania, look at Michigan, look at Arizona, look at Nevada. In Arizona — and I haven’t really gotten down to exact specific numbers — but I know that there are hundreds of thousands of Republican absentee ballots that were not returned in Arizona by election day,” Ryun asserted. “In fact, the day before election day, there were, I think, 400,000 that had not yet been returned. I know that some people walked those in the day of. But I think one of the things, Matt, that we’ve forgotten how to do as Republicans is actually [a] ballots-out-ballots-in machine.”

“And I think that was one of the things that … was so clear to me in the days following the midterms: if we do not figure this out, if we did not go back to the fundamentals of a ballots-out-ballots-in machine, I do not see how we win the White House in 2024 because … I do not hear people explaining to me, in a rational metric-driven approach, how you’re going to actually win Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, maybe even potentially Georgia unless you actually embrace this program,” he added.  “And that, to me, is one of the things that Republicans do not invest the right amount of money.”

Boyle emphasized that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who crushed his Democrat opponent in a reelection bid last month, employed a firm to carry out a “sophisticated door-knocking program” and suggested Republicans were more successful in the Sunshine State because they had “a real ground game rather than just throwing a bunch of money into television ads.” He added that often times leaving leaflets and door hangers are counted as door knocks when, in fact, a volunteer or worker had not actually made contact with a voter.

“This is something we teach at American Majority with our training is not all doors are created equal,” said Ryun. “And what do I mean by that? As you were just highlighting, some people will claim, ‘We knocked on… call it 100,000 doors.’ But then you dig down, did they actually have conversations? Did they actually get answers to surveys? Did they have a real-life conversation?”

“When you’re actually doing a sophisticated door-to-door program, depending on the suburb or depending on the neighborhood, you should get about a 20% connect rate, in which one out of every five doors you should actually have a live conversation,” Ryan went on to add. “And then that live conversation, break it down even more into the quality of let’s say you’re having… a five or six questions survey; how many data points did you pick up in having that conversation?”

“Now, the RNC has been playing this game for multiple, multiple election cycles in which they say, ‘you know, we left a leaflet at somebody’s door; that counts as a door knock.’ No, it does not,” he continued. “In fact, the quality of it is significantly lower than an actual live conversation on the doorstep.”

“I know it’s time intensive. I know there’s labor involved, but unless we actually commit to it, I think we’re going to continue to see disappointments in our elections,” he went on to add.

Ryun pointed out that Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has led the party through the last three election cycles and asserted that she and her team “continue the cabal of consultants that have been an utter and complete failure for the Republican Party.”

McDaniel has announced that she intends to seek reelection for the chair, and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who lost a gubernatorial bid in New York last month, has been weighing a challenge to McDaniel.

On Monday night, Republican National Lawyers Association Chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon announced during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight that she is running for the position as well.

After the appearance, she tweeted that one of her top priorities would be to extend a job offer to American First activist Scott Presler “to inspire and train our ground forces on voter registration and getting every ballot to the ballot box by all legal means.”

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