Reid Wilson at Hotline writes:
Because of a fertile landscape and poor fundraising performances by key national party committees, outside Republican groups have taken over operations typically run by the Republican National Committee. American Crossroads and other organizations are stepping in to help fund turnout operations across the nation. Though many of those outside groups are run by top operatives, even some who held senior positions at the RNC, the fact is that turnout operations are being run outside the traditional structures. Even the Tea Party Express has spent more money on direct advocacy television ads than the national party committees.
In times of upheaval, voter sentiment shifts from one party to another rapidly. But for the better part of a decade, one thing has been clear: Voter and activist sentiment has been shifting away from Washington and back to the states. Even as the economy recovers, the advent of social media and the excitement of two national bases that can quickly organize will mean the balance of political power is shifting away from the hub, and toward the spokes. This will be remembered as the year control of politics finally left Washington.
There's quite a bit more, including a rundown of how the 2008 Obama campaign performed a similar end-around the Democratic apparatus in D.C. Regardless of your partisan and/or ideological leanings, you should read the whole thing.