President Donahue Speaks at Turning Point Action Summit, Shares CRA’s Triumphant 9-month Journey

February 3, 2024
Dominick Buehler

College Republicans of America (CRA) President William Donahue joined a handful of high-level conservative speakers and organizers at Turning Point Action’s Restoring National Confidence Summit, speaking on a panel. The event, which took place just a day before the Republican National Committee's winter meeting, united the key players in the 2024 election ground effort. 

The hundreds-large, invite-only audience at the event was made up of RNC members and candidates, Republican county chairs, activists, and the country’s most influential Capitol Hill staffers. According to Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk, the county chairs present constituted a massive 15 million voters in the nation's most important electoral regions.

Flanked on his left and right by senior TPAction field leaders, Donahue gave a brutally honest summation of the College Republican National Committee’s (CRNC) failures and the urgent need for a renewed and improved national CR group.

“I quickly rose through the ranks [of my local College Republicans] and took over the California College Republicans. We built it back up, we had record fundraising, and last year we decided that the CRNC, the existing institution that’s been around since 1892, just wasn’t cutting it anymore,” President Donahue said. “The CRNC had pretty much died; it fell from 1500 chapters down to 50 or 30. We’re actually not sure because their website is completely inaccurate.”

Donahue also articulated the critical - but, before CRA, empty - role that college students play in mobilizing voters and building enthusiasm for campaigns.

“There was a chasm in the College Republican space, and it's a necessary institution,” he explained. “We need the College Republicans to be our grassroots forces on the ground, making calls and knocking on doors for the party. 

President Donahue, center, with his fellow speakers and @rungenz moderator

With hundreds of attendees and conservative figures, the CRA president also announced a massive milestone for the country's fastest-growing student group.

“We started College Republicans of America in April, and I’m happy to announce that we’re up to 120 chapters in less than nine months,” he said to an applauding audience.

The conference would continue with a long list of influential speakers, each offering insight into America’s election systems and the best way to achieve victory within them. According to Charlie Kirk, the summit taught “Turning Point data, technology, and [get out the vote] relational strategies.” The strategy brings CRA in league with a host of several large conservative groups, focusing their power on maximizing electoral returns from traditionally rural, low-density districts with a strong right-wing lean.

Armed with invaluable election knowledge and an exponentially growing army of volunteers, President Donahue reflected on CRA's massive primary victories and outlined his ambitious goal for CRA in the 2024 general election.

“Our main target in this upcoming election cycle is Wisconsin and Arizona because those are the states that we need to help President Trump win in this election cycle,” he said to the summit attendees. “We’re boots on the ground, we just had several dozen kids fly in from nine states to campaign in Iowa. We made over 50,000 calls in four days. We are back, and better than ever before.”

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