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Friday, December 21, 2012

The tools that helped Obama win

There is a fascinating article in Time magazine outlining some of the techniques used by Obama in his recent successful campaign for re-election. They say that his election machine machine used new methods of mining informatuon devised by a geek squad convened from multinational ad agencies, corporate consultancies and high-tech start-ups:

The goals were the same as ever: more money in the bank, more door knocks, more phone calls, more voter registrations and more voters at the polls. But the methods for achieving those ends in 2012 bordered on the revolutionary. A squad of dozens of data crunchers created algorithms for predicting the likelihood that someone would respond to specific types of requests to accomplish each of those goals. Vast quantities of information were collected and then employed to predict just which television shows various target voters in certain cities were watching at just what time of day — the better to decide where to place TV ads. Facebook, which was an afterthought in 2008, became the new electronic telephone call, employed to persuade more than 600,000 Obama supporters to reach out to 5 million swing-state friends online with targeted messages in the days before the election. One woman in central Ohio who was living with her young voting-age daughter reported that her house got four different visits on the morning of Election Day, each from a different neighbor making sure both women had remembered to vote.

The geek squad also found new ways to make voters turn out their pockets. They refined meet-the-candidate lotteries into an art form, invented a system for texting dollars from a mobile phone that required entering only a single number and experimented with the language of e-mail pitches until they stung. Of his $1 billion campaign-cash haul, Obama was able to raise $690 million online in 2012, up from about $500 million in 2008. More than $200 million of that came in donations of $200 or less, a 10% increase over the history-making frenzy of 2008. In a campaign that big super-PAC money was supposed to dominate, Obama’s operation proved that many small efforts were more powerful than a few big ones. No one in either party thinks campaign finance will ever be the same.

What is interesting is the claim that this coalition is  non-transferable as it is personal to Obama himself.

Update: There is an interesting comparison of the two campaigns in the Boston Globe here.
Me and mum (both from Wales) voted in November '12 - there wasn't really a choice; on the one hand popular President Obama and on the other hand Mitt Romney (and his running mate, arguably the worse choice in history).

The GOP needs to WAKE UP!

The fathers/'higher ups' in the GOP need to 'get with the program'.

The Hispanic population here is growing proportionally. To win, e.g., Florida the GOP must speak to the concerns of the growing Hispanic population, but the GOP is somewhat blind to the Hispanic vote.

This might change in 2016, and finally the GOP will nominate a modern day candidate that connects to the people like Senator Marco Rubio.

It’s very hard for the GOP (Republican Party) to win the White House when they have their collective front end buried in pig manure.

Anyhow/anyways, I believe in universal health care (free at the point of need) and so am very happy with President Obama’s health care plan – a civilized society is not civilized if it routinely ruins the lives of its citizens should they fall ill.
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