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November 07, 2012

Election Winners are Computationally Driven Campaigns and Permanently Embedded Field Operations

The US has efficient computational driven electoral campaigns. The US just needs efficient computationally driven government.

1. CNN described the superior Democratic political organization.

Obama organizers were deeply embedded in small towns and big cities for years, focusing their persuasion efforts on person-to-person contact. The more nuanced data they collected, often with handwritten notes attached, was synced nightly with their prized voter database in Chicago.

Multiple Romney advisers were left agog at the turnout ninjutsu performed by the Obama campaign, both in early voting and on Election Day.

Not only did Obama field marshals get their targeted supporters to the polls, they found new voters and even outperformed their watershed 2008 showings in some decisive counties, a remarkable feat in a race that was supposed to see dampened Democratic turnout.

With the president's campaign on the ropes in the wake of his awful debate performance in Denver, four Obama staffers had a straightforward, math-driven sales pitch.

The share of the national white vote would decline as it has steadily in every election since 1992. There would be modest upticks in Hispanic and African-American voter registration, shifts that would overwhelmingly favor the president. And Obama's get-out-the-vote operation was vastly more sophisticated than the one being run by Romney and the Republican National Committee.


2. New Scientist - Nate Silver's not the only one demonstrating the power of electoral statistics. Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium correctly predicted the outcome in 49 states. The state he missed was Florida, which he originally predicted would go to Mitt Romney and then last night declared a coin toss, but has just now been confirmed for Obama.

Nate Silver honed his skills in the field of sabermetrics, the statistical analysis of baseball players, which has transformed the sport in the last decade. Now politics could be heading the same way.
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