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(Yahoo)   Republican IT gurus are hard at work trying to build their own version of the Obama campaign's Narwhal system and expect that by 2016 they should have the systems and technology in place to win the 2012 Presidential election   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 84
    More: Interesting, President Obama, Republican, Democrats, digital strategist, Obama campaign, Narwahl, Phil Musser, humans  
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928 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Jul 2013 at 1:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-29 01:52:55 PM
I don't see it happening. Last election, Romney's strategy was marketing while Obama was doing sales.

Obama's operation used Salesforce to keep track of potential voters. They kept detailed notes on whose votes were guaranteed and who was on the fence. Once a vote was secured, they didn't have to waste time selling that person, and could divert more attention to the people on the fence. From there they would try to address the potential voter's objections and try to use coworkers, neighbors, family members, and whoever else they could to personally make the case to try to sway that potential voter's mind.

Romney, on the other hand, was all about marketing. Just give a bunch of money to some media groups and have them pump out commercials, mailers, etc. I remember during the election voters solidly in the Romney camp were complaining that even though they had already voted, the Romney campaign was still aggressively courting them.

For Republicans to win the presidency they have to learn how to listen to people other than mega donors and spin doctors. I don't see that happening. Telling people what they're supposed to believe is much easier than actually talking to them.
 
2013-07-29 01:55:12 PM
Hey, remember this gem of wisdom from Peggy Noonan?

The secret of Mr. Obama is that he isn't really very good at politics, and he isn't good at politics because he doesn't really get people. The other day a Republican political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The "Analytics Department" is looking for "predictive Modeling/Data Mining" specialists to join the campaign's "multi-disciplinary team of statisticians," which will use "predictive modeling" to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. "We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions."

(Source is the Wall Street Journal, which Fark does not allow to be linked)

While the nerds may know how to gather and analyze the data, I am not convinced that the GOP leadership will be able to utilize it to its fullest potential.  They're like Bill O'Reilly, who doesn't get that the "Newsfax" sent to his home printer is not a fax.  ("It was easier to tell Bill we were faxing it to him than it was to explain that we were remotely printing it to his home printer.  This is actually a familiar pattern with Bill. It's often simpler to let him believe something erroneously than it is to correct him.")

"Those dhimmicrats think they're so smart because they can wwebsite as on the internet, but they don't know squat about the American people like I do.  The joke's on them because I can just hire some nerds of my own, set up my own campaign MySpace, pay for a few thousand Tweeter friends, and then where is their internet now?"
 
2013-07-29 01:56:21 PM

Karac: You can shove a couple hundred volts worth of new technology through the republican platform, but it won't make that turd smell any better.


This electorate wouldn't "VOOM VOTE REPUBLICAN" if you ran 4 million volts through it! It's bleeding de-MISED! It's a stiff - bereft of life it rests in peace; if you hadn't passed voter ID laws and gerrymandered the House to oblivion, it'd be pushing up daisies!
 
2013-07-29 02:01:21 PM

Notabunny: Have the Republicans considered supporting policies which more people like?


Not for a second. They are just making sure that 50% (+1 voter) of the voting population (not the actual population) are supporters of their policies.

I like to think of it as the toilet steering the ass. Because in that metaphor... we're the water.
 
2013-07-29 02:03:19 PM

Britney Spear's Speculum: This is the only way the GOP will win the internet:

-Have all their backers buy the companies that run the internet and shut it down or strictly moderate it.
affordablehousinginstitute.org

-Pass prohibitively restrictive bills like SOPA that puts content distributors out of business over night and assumes all end users are criminals such that you need a license to internet.


"Turn the machines back on!"
 
2013-07-29 02:03:47 PM

Maud Dib: They call it the Orca Project, named for the powerful killer whale. Why Orca? It seems the Orca is the greatest natural predator of the Narwhal, the name of the Obama campaign's top secret voter micro-targeting system.

Link

BWAHAHAHAAA!!!!
Get a brain, mormons.


Eh? If I was having to craft a knockoff get out the vote system based on my opponents I would totally name it after an animal that eats the animal they named theirs for. Its cheesy as hell, sure, but good for a larf and does a little to cover the plagiarism.

Orca was garbage but not for the name.
 
2013-07-29 02:08:14 PM

FloydA: If they manage to get this technology in place, there's no way Obama will be re-elected in 2016.


Ahhh, one of my favorite running jokes.
 
2013-07-29 02:13:38 PM

BunkoSquad: The $25,000 Romney spent on election night fireworks over Boston shall not have been spent in vain!

BAPP '16


Had I known this fact when he lost I would have added sparklers to my ensemble for the "I'm A Shark" live dance performance in front of their home the night of the election.  I also might have been motivated enough to remain sober enough to drive to the location and actually follow through with it.
 
2013-07-29 02:13:59 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: That read like an interview with an IT system salesman.


Wonder if the whole thing is outsourced to another country? The GOP is laser focused on jobs...
 
2013-07-29 02:23:17 PM
Nate Silver aside, the only time I was even slightly worried about the election outcome was immediately after the first debate. I did not see any 'Rope-a-dope' strategy in place. What I saw was a really poor performance by the POTUS. Anyone paying attention saw a noticeable jump in Romney's numbers.

In the 2016 election I cannot see Joe Biden's Trans Am getting him elected, nor his decades of loyal service. Hillary Clinton has got this thing in the bag if she wants it. And I say she wants it. Her ideal running mate for a liberal like me would of course be Elizabeth Warren. A Clinton-Warren ticket would be unbeatable, and only the blind and really foolish would think otherwise no matter who the GOP fields. I will make it a point to laugh loudly and unpolitely every single time the word 'Benghazi' is uttered by the opposition. I shall point at that person and look at them with in the same manner I would gaze upon a child that has pooped his pants and say, "Aren't you precious?" Then I will laugh even harder and point at that person and laugh as their head explodes. Their is not enough IT around that can overcome a Hillary candidacy. I'll campaign, donate AND vote for her even though I actually see her as more of the 'same old, same old' entrenched leadership.
 
2013-07-29 02:24:32 PM
their/there dadgumbit
 
2013-07-29 02:33:06 PM

JolobinSmokin: I live in OKlahoma.  I'm the only democrat I've ever met.


Anadarko has to have some Democrats I mean whites only make up 41% of the population.
 
2013-07-29 03:06:33 PM
Didn't the GOP try running a robotic candidate in the last election?

/The IT guys didn't upload the "Basic Humanity" software.
 
2013-07-29 03:36:12 PM
I didn't RTFA but these words together just make me giggle a lot. "Republican IT gurus "
 
2013-07-29 03:42:42 PM
I remember reading about the some 30,000 repub GOTV workers idle on election day because the ORCA app failed so spectacularly.

My favorite part was that the "brain center" was in the Boston Garden, which nobody in the Romney camp checked to see if they had the bandwith to handle the program.
 
2013-07-29 03:43:13 PM

monoski: Because People in power are Stupid: That read like an interview with an IT system salesman.

Wonder if the whole thing is outsourced to another country? The GOP is laser focused on jobs...


Why would they need to when the NSA is already doing the legwork?
 
2013-07-29 03:48:18 PM

Archae hippy: I remember reading about the some 30,000 repub GOTV workers idle on election day because the ORCA app failed so spectacularly.

My favorite part was that the "brain center" was in the Boston Garden, which nobody in the Romney camp checked to see if they had the bandwith to handle the program.


I don't know about the 30K number but the rest of the info is correct.  Nobody bothered to test the system until election day.

The Democrats are so far ahead of this stuff that, by the time the GOP gets caught up to Narwhal, the Dems' system will more closely resemble magic.
 
2013-07-29 04:00:44 PM

brigid_fitch: Archae hippy: I remember reading about the some 30,000 repub GOTV workers idle on election day because the ORCA app failed so spectacularly.

My favorite part was that the "brain center" was in the Boston Garden, which nobody in the Romney camp checked to see if they had the bandwith to handle the program.

I don't know about the 30K number but the rest of the info is correct.  Nobody bothered to test the system until election day.


Quote from John Ekdahl, a web developer who worked on ORCA:

So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap?
 
2013-07-29 04:01:21 PM

spongeboob: JolobinSmokin: I live in OKlahoma.  I'm the only democrat I've ever met.

Anadarko has to have some Democrats I mean whites only make up 41% of the population.


Don't be racist.
 
2013-07-29 04:15:53 PM

Archae hippy: brigid_fitch: Archae hippy: I remember reading about the some 30,000 repub GOTV workers idle on election day because the ORCA app failed so spectacularly.

My favorite part was that the "brain center" was in the Boston Garden, which nobody in the Romney camp checked to see if they had the bandwith to handle the program.

I don't know about the 30K number but the rest of the info is correct.  Nobody bothered to test the system until election day.

Quote from John Ekdahl, a web developer who worked on ORCA:

So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap?


LOL--awesome.
 
2013-07-29 04:38:20 PM
The Obama campaign actually used 2 systems:

Blue State Digital ran the public-facing websites and the fundraising efforts. Their system is designed from the ground up for political fundraising.

The other piece of the puzzle is voter databases, etc. That is NGP/VAN which pulls in data from a number of sources (primarily county registrars) and codes for every registered voter in the country based on how likely they are to vote and how likely they are to vote (D) based on age, ethnicity, geography, party registration and other factors.

The article talks about trying to integrate national and local databases for campaigns, and claims that the Obama campaign didn't do that in 2012. This is inaccurate. I ran/helped with several local campaigns where we tied into the NGP/VAN system for voter info.

If the article is at all accurate about where the (R)s are, they're still probably close to a decade behind the (D)s technologically.
 
2013-07-29 05:28:56 PM
So they will use the information to tell people what they want to hear so they can get elected.

But once elected they will ignore all that and play partisan politics?

Heck of an achievement there guys!
 
2013-07-29 05:29:57 PM
Always preparing for the last war.

Always unprepared for the next war.
 
2013-07-29 05:49:22 PM
Something tells me an IT project done solely by Republicans (old white men from the south without college education) isn't going to be great.
 
2013-07-29 06:41:41 PM

KeatingFive: Something tells me an IT project done solely by Republicans (old white men from the south without college education) isn't going to be great.


It'll be comprised of scrolling, glittery gifs and hosted on Geocities.
 
2013-07-29 07:16:38 PM
i.ytimg.com
th08.deviantart.net
userserve-ak.last.fm
www.albinoblacksheep.com

/narwhals are awesome
//so is weebls
 
2013-07-29 08:34:26 PM
Obama's former digital strategist, Joe Rospars, was skeptical that Musser and Skatell have improved on the Democrats' technology. "You can write down that I laughed when you asked me that," said Rospars, founder of Blue State Digital.

LOVE THIS GUY!
 
2013-07-29 09:23:21 PM

aevorea: KeatingFive: Something tells me an IT project done solely by Republicans (old white men from the south without college education) isn't going to be great.

It'll be comprised of scrolling, glittery gifs and hosted on Geocities.


Geocities? More like angelfire, gramps.
 
2013-07-29 09:29:57 PM
Given how well they've used tech so far, I'm just quaking in my button-up shoes.
 
2013-07-29 10:33:02 PM
It isn't a function of just IT... the statistical likelihoods and probabilities calculus used by the Democrats to try to find likely Obama voters in 2012 was based on good data collection techniques, sound (unbiased) analysis of what that data was telling them. The thing is, campaigning is art... there's a lot of really difficult to quantify things going on there... but finding voters is science, and you have to go in with an open mind if you want to be successful. The GOP will not be as successful as the Dems were in 2012 unless they forego the techniques that let them down before... they need to give up the push-polling, stop trying to use mathematically invalid functions to "unskew" data, and stop inserting their own optimism as a polling/prediction function. Instead of simply rejecting all the polls that had Obama up by a few points in CO, the GOP should have actually tried campaigning a little more here, rather than just constantly saying that their internal data was vastly different than pretty much all the reputable polling companies'. In short, faith-based math is not a real thing, and until the GOP understands that, they aren't going to be able to successfully utilize stat analysis.
 
2013-07-29 11:29:48 PM

PawisBetlog: Obama's former digital strategist, Joe Rospars, was skeptical that Musser and Skatell have improved on the Democrats' technology. "You can write down that I laughed when you asked me that," said Rospars, founder of Blue State Digital.

LOVE THIS GUY!


To be fair, ten years ago it was the GOP that had the campaign machine to die for.  Unfortunately for them, they got old and failed to grasp the changing nature of communications.  The same thing will happen to the Democrats eventually.
 
2013-07-30 12:03:50 AM

brigid_fitch: Archae hippy: brigid_fitch: Archae hippy: I remember reading about the some 30,000 repub GOTV workers idle on election day because the ORCA app failed so spectacularly.

My favorite part was that the "brain center" was in the Boston Garden, which nobody in the Romney camp checked to see if they had the bandwith to handle the program.

I don't know about the 30K number but the rest of the info is correct.  Nobody bothered to test the system until election day.

Quote from John Ekdahl, a web developer who worked on ORCA:

So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap?

LOL--awesome.


The even funnier thing is that he makes it sound like all 30K of them were just sitting around the offices with their thumbs up their asses.
Sure, blind-firing campaign workers instead of targeting them would have worked a lot less well, but as he said - they only needed fairly small margins.  You'd think they've have just given them a map of the most affluent and well-to-do sections of town nearby and say:
"There's your door-to-door target.  Bob, you take 1st through 5th streets, George's got 6th through 10.  You find anyone who needs a ride, call Marge up and give her the address."
 
2013-07-30 01:28:03 PM
Effective IT has a well-known liberal bias. Obsessing over secrecy, security and other ways to not-deliver information to people doesn't transfer well to a product that is supposed to increase the flow of information. I see "conservative" systems all the time, and they fail all the time. Usually because of over-engineered authorization/authentication mechanisms, insistence on closed-source dependencies, etc.

Bonus: almost always involving Windows in some way or another. Not sure what conservatives love about Windows but it's just something I've noticed.
 
2013-07-30 11:05:15 PM

mccallcl: Effective IT has a well-known liberal bias. Obsessing over secrecy, security and other ways to not-deliver information to people doesn't transfer well to a product that is supposed to increase the flow of information. I see "conservative" systems all the time, and they fail all the time. Usually because of over-engineered authorization/authentication mechanisms, insistence on closed-source dependencies, etc.


Obsessing over security is not a negative.  Unless you like getting your PC hacked and sending spam for midget porn sites.

Windows and security doesn't go together, so that makes even less sense.
 
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