For months leading up to the 2022 midterm election, pundits with crystal balls emphatically declared, “The red wave is coming!” To their credit, a perfect storm was brewing: The party out of power historically performs well during a midterm. President Joe Biden’s approval rating was underwater, and working-class families were suffering from the highest inflation rate in more than 40 years. Nonetheless, Republicans only won a narrow majority in the House and lost a Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
What turned the supposed red tsunami into a scarlet trickle? Simply put, the Republican Party failed to adopt a national early and mail-in voting strategy. If Republicans utilized in-person early voting and mail-in voting in Arizona, as they did in Florida, then Kari Lake would almost certainly be governor today.
Since 2020, election integrity has been a top concern for voters. While the general consensus was that Republicans should vote in person on Election Day, this backfired disastrously in 2022: An hour into the election, an estimated 30 percent of Maricopa County polling locations reported problems with machines. Conservative voters who had waited until the last day to cast their ballots were disenfranchised in the ensuing confusion. Ultimately, Lake lost by a mere 17,000 votes. If Republicans had voted early, then they would not have experienced these problems, would have been able to get more Republicans to the polls, and, most importantly, would have won.
In Nevada, Republican senatorial candidate Adam Laxalt lost by only 8,000 votes. Despite there being 654,145 registered Republicans in the state, he earned only 490,388 votes. If we assume that not a single independent vote was cast for Laxalt, this means that 163,757 registered Republicans were not mobilized to vote for their party’s candidate. When every registered Republican in Nevada had a ballot in their mailbox 20 days before the election, and ballot harvesting is entirely legal under state law, there is no excuse for not achieving near-record Republican turnout — especially in a state that was forecasting snow and inclement weather on Election Day.
Republican officials did not use every electoral tool to their advantage, and Republican voters suffered because of it.
For all of the post-mortems citing candidate quality as the reason for losing Pennsylvania, they are missing the point: It is a cold numbers game. By the time Republican senatorial candidate Mehmet Oz debated his opponent, more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians had already turned in their mail-in and absentee ballots. Moreover, of those ballots, 407,062 were returned by registered Democrats and 107,086 from Republicans. It didn’t matter that Oz received more votes on Election Day because Democrats were locking in votes and chasing ballots 50 days prior.
And with those 50 days of possible early voting, it is inexcusable that by the end of Election Day, more than 1 million registered Republicans had not voted. Voters and activists should be livid about these failures and vow never again to waste a single day of early voting.
Republican voters should vote as early as possible so that campaign money is spent targeting an increasingly dwindling number of voters every day as the election nears. For the party that supposedly respects the laws of economics, it is the clear economical way to spend valuable campaign cash since more dollars to fewer people means more dollars spent per voter!
Republicans need our dedicated voters voting early, and then they need activists and leaders working to utilize every day as an opportunity to drive turnout — if Republicans refocus their campaigns into logistical machines, they are never going to lose an election again.
This problem — this fixable, albeit tediously difficult problem — is the genesis of the creation of Early Vote Action PAC. EVA is going to organize and mobilize, devoid of insider political drama plaguing the RNC and the D.C. swamp, and lead the way in ensuring that every right-leaning American is registered to vote and excited to vote early, whether by mail or in person. And by achieving this goal, Early Vote Action PAC is going to ensure that 2024 is a year of Republican victories.
Early Vote Action PAC is focused on helping Republicans win in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina in 2024. If Republicans can win these states, they will have the necessary 270 electoral votes to take back the White House, the Senate, and a southern governor’s mansion. House seats will be flipped, then state house and state senate seats will be flipped, then local seats will be flipped — in an ode to the Gipper, we will call it “Trickle-Down Organizing.”
Last, Early Vote Action is going to be setting up shop around the country, finding committed, excited Republican activists to help drive turnout in key states so that underutilized Republican voters in deep-red districts and deep-blue districts alike, men and women ignored by leaders and consultants because their districts are impossibly lost or unimaginably safe, can take part in flipping swing states through letter writing, phone banking, and whatever else it takes to get out the vote by Election Day.
It is time for the Republican Party to get back to its organizing roots. It is time to think about nothing other than early Republican mobilization. And it is time to stop losing to the Democrats.
Scott R. Presler is among the foremost grassroots activists in the Republican Party. His efforts, from registration drives to get-out-the-vote programs, have helped Republicans succeed around the country and were instrumental in seeing New York and Florida achieve notable victories in the 2022 cycle. To learn more about Scott’s latest project to bolster Republicans around the county, visit earlyvoteaction.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.