Hoping to soften the party’s rough edges, the Republican National Committee announced a new ad campaign Thursday featuring a former prostitute and other unlikely GOP voters explaining why they embrace conservative principles.
The party said the campaign is meant to attract new recruits to its Republican Leadership Initiative organizing program, as it continues its multiyear effort to try to make inroads with minority and female voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The RNC said the $300,000 campaign would include television ads played during next week’s GOP debate in South Carolina and digital ads targeting potential recruits for the party’s RLI program.
Since the 2012 presidential election, when President Obama won a second term with the help of huge margins among Hispanic and black voters, the GOP has worked hard to reverse those trend lines.
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said the RNC deserves plaudits for actively working to dispel the public narrative that the GOP is the party of old white men, but the results this year are going to depend on who Republicans choose as their presidential nominee.
“They’re trying the best they can, but at the same time there’s only so much they can do,” he said. “The problem is political parties don’t have the power they used to … a lot of this work is up to the GOP presidential nominee.”