BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's U.S. Senate race is a central battleground in the Republican Party's national drive to catch up to the Democrats' data collection know-how that helped power President Barack Obama to two terms.

This year, with control of the Senate at stake, the GOP is depending on paid interns and volunteers to help it close the technology gap, with a door-knocking effort designed to gather data that can be fed into a mobile phone app and uploaded to a central database for harvesting later.

The GOP is looking for Republicans who don't always vote in midterm elections, or non-Republicans who might be swayed to vote for GOP candidates.

Democrats chuckle about the effort, saying Republicans are a decade behind in technology. They suggest flaws in the methods the GOP is using.