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Republicans detail ‘autopsy’ efforts after election losses

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) — Republicans provided more details Monday of their effort to determine what went wrong in last month’s election, which saw the GOP lose both the race for the White House and seats in the House and Senate.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who last month said his party was planning an “autopsy” to locate problem areas, said the effort would “recommend a plan to further ensure Republicans are victorious in 2013, 2014, 2016 and beyond.”

The RNC said the effort, termed the “Growth and Opportunity Effort,” would focus on assessing and improving eight points of the GOP’s campaign strategy, including ground game, fundraising, and the GOP primary process.

The party also said they’d look at learning lessons from Democrats’ successful campaign methods, which helped secure a second term for President Barack Obama and propelled the party to a net gain of 2 seats in the U.S. Senate and 8 seats in the House of Representatives.

Republicans will also gauge the impact of third party groups, which played a major role in television advertising and organizing in the 2012 election. Conservative super PACs like Restore Our Future and American Crossroads raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars, both during the GOP primaries and the general election contest that followed.

Heading up the effort are five well-known Republican operatives: Henry Barbour, a national committeeman from Mississippi who is the nephew of that state’s former governor, Haley Barbour; national committeemen Zori Fonalledas and Glenn McCall; Sally Bradshaw, a Republican strategist in Florida; and Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary and a CNN contributor.

“I look forward to working with these outstanding Republicans as they conduct rigorous analysis and engage in important conversations,” Priebus said. “The work of the Growth and Opportunity Project will be critical as we move forward as a Party and take our message to every American.”

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