Nine months before the November election, the 100-person staff of American Bridge has now fanned out across 37 states, with 40 full-time trackers and 25 researchers collecting every utterance by their 2014 Republican targets in House, Senate and governor’s races. They are simultaneously building their books on the 2016 Republican hopefuls, dispatching 169 records requests to local, state and federal officials on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie alone.
But for the first time, a Republican counterpart, America Rising, is engaged in a similar effort, rapidly expanding a team that now includes 11 full-time trackers, 23 part-time trackers and 22 staffers at headquarters. They are monitoring candidate events and interviews in 20 states, with plans to move into 10 more.