Mitt Romney greets supporters at an election night rally in Manchester,… (Jae C. Hong / AP Photo )
The Republican National Committee officially declared Mitt Romney the party's presumptive nominee Wednesday and announced steps toward a full merger of the two entities' campaign infrastructure.
The move comes after a night in which Romney won all five Northeast states that held primaries, giving him another major delegate boost even though he's still shy of the 1,144 he needs to formally clinch the nomination.
The party already has taken steps to help its eventual nominee prepare for the general election, and said Wednesday it is clear Romney will be their candidate.
"He is our presumptive nominee. That means he is our guy," Reince Priebus said. "It's beyond an endorsement. It is a complete merger wherein the RNC is putting all of its resources and energy behind Mitt Romney to be the next president of the United States."
According to the party, Romney campaign adviser Brian Jones will oversee the coordination between the two operations, which ultimately will synchronize their ground game and digital operations.
Kevin Madden, an informal Romney advisor and his 2008 national press secretary, will serve as an advisor and lead spokesman based in Washington.
The steps taken Wednesday will begin a race by the party to catch up with the organizational head start that President Obama's campaign has had, a luxury that comes with incumbency and having no major primary challenge to deal with.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have been working hand-in-hand for more than a year at this point, and have dozens of field offices and paid staff fanned out in key battleground states.
Priebus said he sees a "seamless" transition coming on the Republican side.
"Our objective is to raise more money than we've ever raised in the history of the RNC, to communicate better than we've ever communicated, have social and digital reach that we've never seen before, and have a movement across this country that allows every person in America, no matter where you're from, to be able to tap into that movement," he said.
"Everything that the DNC is doing for Barack Obama, we are going to do times 10 for Mitt Romney."
Original source: RNC officially names Mitt Romney the party's 'presumptive nominee'