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This election’s winners include not only data nerds like Nate Silver, but also the Obama campaign’s numbers-crunchers. Wasn’t data analysis supposed to be Romney’s strength at Bain and the Olympics?
The Obama staff – parodied as a bunch of soft-headed, socialist community organizers – were precise and efficient in their targeting and resource allocation. Romney, in contrast, spent precious time the last weekend chasing a chimera in Pennsylvania. Remarkably, Romney’s campaign, Republican pollsters and the Fox spin machine all were misled by their own data.
This part of a campaign, unlike ads and speeches, goes unnoticed. But attention must be paid. Because the Obama campaign has revolutionized politics.
Two small examples:
First, a friend who lives in Wilson County and volunteered for Obama said the campaign gave her precise instructions: go to Trailer Park X, knock on the door at Trailer Y and urge Voter Z to go vote. My friend said she was going to places she didn’t know existed – and finding voters the Obama campaign had identified.
Second, on Election Night, Obama volunteers in North Carolina got texts from the campaign: “Would you make a call to Betsy in Wisconsin at this number and urge her to go vote.”
This combination of high-tech and high personal touch is powerful. It’s the most important lesson of this election.


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3 comments on “Revenge of the Nerds

  1. clarence swinney says:

    The House of Representatives–
    Where was President Obama work on behalf of Congress??
    Did I just miss it?
    He had a long list of accomplishments in spite of fights by Republicans to stop them. A good search shows them.
    I do not understand that lack of effort to win ALL of Congress!
    Do you? The PeoplesView.Net— has many many opinions on it.
    I wanted a fight- bare knuckles. A ko– not— tko.
    His budget and Tax proposals will have a hard time in The House with Tea Pottie adversaries= no tax =no tax =no tax=just borrow=just borrow=just borrow
    We can easily balance the budget. A 35% Effective Tax on just top10% does it.
    In 2009, they paid about a 15% Effective Tax Rate. They have 73% of Net Wealth—83% Financial Wealth and get 50% individual income. Stop being suckered Americans balance that durn budget by FAIR taxation. Clarence swinney

  2. Carbine says:

    “Soft-headed?” That’s hardly the stereotype I had of the Obamafia. Ruthless, amoral, and power-mad would come closer to the mark. Useful traits for any political machine, to be sure, but not so good for the nation it afflicts. But the Obamafia has upped the ante, and I’m sure the other side will study, learn, and come up with something just as bad if not worse next cycle. That is, after all, how guys like you and Carter make a living, right?

  3. clarence swinney says:

    Middle 20%=18%
    Top 10%=21%
    Top 5%=13%
    Top 1%=5%

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