Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to supporters during a rally on his "Jeb Can Fix It" Tour on November 2, 2015 at the Tampa Garden Club in Tampa, Florida. Brian Blanco/AFP
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After a devastating loss in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican Party entered a period of intense self-reflection and emerged with a firm promise to learn from its mistakes.A year from Election Day 2016, the Republican primary is a rough and bumpy competition.The party appears to be coalescing behind front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is building a campaign operation aimed at turning out the general election voters who catapulted Barack Obama to the White House.Members of both parties say Republican White House hopefuls have also ignored the recommendation from the RNC's self-study that insisted Republicans must improve the party's appeal among women and minorities.The relatively clear Democratic field has allowed her team to focus a full year before Election Day on building the kind of operation that can carry her beyond the primary contests. She currently employs 511 staffers across the country – close to the number of staff on all the Republican campaigns combined.And fundraising reports show an energized Democratic Party, with Clinton and Sanders together raising only slightly less than 15 candidates on the Republican side combined.
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