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I just read a fascinating article about this program that the Romneyites were using, called The ORCA Project.

I'm not going to lie, I was sort of thinking that the Romney ground game would be much better and more effective than it was.  Well, I suppose it was better than John McCain's ground game.  In any case, apparently the Romney camp had been relying on this sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation they created, called ORCA.

The project operates via a Web-based app volunteers use to relay the most up-to-date poll information to a "national dashboard" at the Boston headquarters. ... Another key component to Project ORCA is state-of-the-art dashboard. For the past several months, a "brain" has been built into this dashboard and it will take in, analyze and recommend actions on the millions of pieces of incoming data. In the fast-paced environment of an Election Day command center, having this programmed "brain" will alert decision-makers to key findings and suggest reallocation of resources.
The most up-to-date poll information?  Like the poll done by a Republican shill that has you down by 5 points in Pennsylvania?  But please, don't let reality get in the way...
The success, though, would have to depend on volunteer troops united by a Web-based smartphone app. Romney himself called these forces, armed with the technology, an "unprecedented advantage on Election Day.

This faith in algorithms led Romney for President communications director Gail Gitcho to tell PBS, "At 5 o'clock, when the exit polls come out, we won't pay attention to that ... We will have had much more scientific information just based on the political operation we have set up.

Is it just me, or does this smack of the whole "creating your own reality" meme from the George W. Bush era?  But, unfortunately, in an election, you can't actually create your own reality.  In any case, I would have to say that if there was an algorithm sorely missing from ORCA's calculations, it was how hard Mittens was going to get crushed among Latino voters.  I mean, he got his freaking ass handed to him by Obama among Latinos.  

Now let's contrast ORCA with the Obama campaign's more reality-based approach:

Political campaigns these days live or die by the analytics, and PBS pointed out the marine metaphors carried over to the Obama camp, which nicknamed its process Dreamcatcher and Narwhal, and then shifted to a vote-tracking system named—of all things—Gordon. Yet an Obama spokesperson also cast doubt on the opposing party's strategy, telling the Huffington Post, "In a national campaign, what additional things are the headquarters really going to do to move resources ... ? Will an additional auto-call last minute really make a difference in a market like Northeast Ohio, which has been saturated for three months full of auto-calls?"
It would seem that the entire philosphy of the two sides reveals stark differences:  The Romney campaign apparently counts a robocall as a "voter contact."  The Obama campaign counts a voter contact as a voter contact.  This reminds me of a diary I read here a couple weeks ago where an Obama canvasser came across a Romney canvasser who counted dropping literature on someone's doorstep as a "voter contact."  No wonder they couldn't beat us!

Here is a link to the article:

Update:  I forgot this gem from the article:  

Early in the evening, one aide said that, as of 4 p.m., Orca still projected a Romney victory of somewhere between 290 and 300 electoral votes. Obviously that didn't happen. Later, another aide said Orca had pretty much crashed in the heat of the action. 'Somebody said Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it,' said the aide.

Who was delusional?

1%1 votes
9%6 votes
4%3 votes
83%51 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Obama software was incredibly user (5+ / 0-)

    friendly.  My only suggestions would have been to put a small text field so we could record some notes about each contact.  (Such as Millie wants to be recontacted at 6 pm...)  Otherwise, we really did rock the vote.

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 02:51:55 PM PST

  •  GIGO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, FightingRegistrar

    Garbage in, garbage out

    •  They had a great idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hope we adopt the fundamental, improve it, and use it too next time.

      It has less value on election day, but to identify and update lists of folks that have early voted is valuable!

      What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

      by Nebraska68847Dem on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:18:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used both OFA and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, FightingRegistrar


    Each had an advantage or disadvantage.

    I just received an email from

    7 million members rolled up their sleeves this election.

    That's one helluva an army on any continent!
    That's a lot of power
    That's what defeats big money, ignorance, and apathy.

    What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 03:08:29 PM PST

  •  You missed highlighting this (5+ / 0-)

    priceless line from the yahoo article:

    "Later, another aide said Orca had pretty much crashed in the heat of the action. 'Somebody said Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it,' said the aide. (Nov. 7, Washington Examiner)"

  •  Doesn't choice 3 already include 1 & 2? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The scary part for me was that this was closer than 70 / 30. Seriously... how many troubled voters are there out there?

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 04:24:39 PM PST

  •  The ORCA problem is deeper than we all think (0+ / 0-)

    I was speaking to a software engineer who told me what they built was doomed to fail.

    They either didn't appreciate how much the application would be used (too many connections at the same time), which means they didn't scale their software properly. Apparently scaling is not as simple as it seems. It requires having a really talented software engineer. The software crash indicates that the Romney campaign has a talent problem.

    I see a bigger problem with this. The republicans have waged war on education. Their base thinks education = elitism. Rick Santorum acknowledged that they can't attract educated folks.

    They've been suppressing the youth vote, especially the college votes. Most university towns overwhelmingly vote democrat. The most prominent universities are in blue states. Consequently, the talent is not interested in joining the GOP!

    The Obama campaign has some of the best software programmers and engineers out there; Many who decided to forgo good jobs & salaries to get him elected. Think about it.
    the GOP resorts to outsourcing, or finds people who despite their best efforts aren't the best in the field. In fact I was told the programming language ORCA was built on is some corporate thing that isn't efficient enough for the job. I'm not an expert but then we know which team won.

    The republicans simply can't match the Democrats' technical advantage. They're not ready for 21st century campaigning or governing.

     This war on young educated voters has deep effects. And they've got so many other things to figure out before they get to that part.

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