GOP 'dangerously' unfazed by Obama-style data machine
Republicans poised to repeat fatal mistake in 2014
Published: 19 hours ago
New Jersey Democrats are using an Obama-style data machine to analyze every district in the state to help their candidates in the 2014 gubernatorial and mid-term elections, and the Republican Party appears unconcerned.
The State Democrats plan to re-enlist a key member of their 2011 legislative redistricting team, Tom Bonier, to oppose New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie in his bid for re-election, reports PolitickerNJ.com.
Bonior, a Democratic strategist at Clarity Campaign Labs in Washington, D.C., has agreed to provide statistical analytics for every district in New Jersey.
New Jersey Republicans, however, do not appear worried.
"No amount of data-mining will make New Jersey voters any more inclined to support the Democratic tax-and-spend agenda," Ben Sparks, the communications director of the New Jersey GOP, told WND. "New Jersey Democrats are out of touch with the electorate in New Jersey, and a few spreadsheets won't change that fact."
WND senior staff reporter Jerome R. Corsi, author of "What Went Wrong: The Inside Story of the GOP Debacle of 2012 … and How It Can Be Avoided Next Time," disagrees.
"The Republican Party typically makes the mistake of presuming a superior campaign message will win even a closely contested election," Corsi explained. "But today when 21st century scientific database analysis is super-charged by the Internet, the Democrats have the advantage."
Bonier and the Christie campaign did not return WND phone calls asking for comment.
In his new book, Corsi points out that as the Romney campaign airplane returned to Boston on Election Day, strategist Stuart Stevens declared to him that "a positive campaign message trumps a ground game every time."
"Even down to Election Day in 2012, the Romney camp was confident Romney would be president," Corsi said. "But when the votes were counted, Obama won decisively, taking every swing state from Romney except for North Carolina.
Corsi pointed out that Obama's "computer geeks," operating out of what they called "the Cave" in Obama's Chicago campaign headquarters, could communicate on Election Day via cell phone and iPad with campaign volunteers around the nation.
The volunteers told them which likely Obama voters still needed to get to the polls. Meanwhile, the Republican get-out-the-vote computer system in Boston crashed on Election Day, leaving Romney campaign workers cooling their heels as the Democrats harvested every possible Obama voter.
Corsi argues that the Obama's 2012 presidential campaign was a "game-changer" because of the campaign's use of sophisticated computer-based voter intelligence methodologies. The strategy gave the campaign a great advantage by winning the support of likely voters and ultimately getting them to the polls to vote for Obama.
"If you showed up anywhere in a database, in a credit card list that could be purchased from a database broker on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter, the Democratic geeks knew how to put you on the map and profile whether or not you were worth going after," Corsi stressed. "The campaign analytics by the Democrats were effective at micro-targeting who you were, what you thought, whether you would give the campaign money, the likelihood you would vote and the probability you would vote for Obama."
Corsi explained that Bonier was returning to work with Democrats in the wake of previous success in the state.
In 2011, Bonier was a primary consultant to the Democratic team that created the Democratic redistricting map ultimately selected by Rutgers public policy professor Alan Rosenthal.
Rosenthal was appointed as the tie-breaking 11th member of the state redistricting commission that redrew the legislative map for New Jersey based on the 2010 Census.
After working for the Obama database management team in 2012, Bonier moved to Clarity Campaign Labs in Washington with the goal of applying scientific random assignment experimental procedures to determining which campaign messages had the ability to move persuadable voters into the Democratic voter column.
"In New Jersey, Republicans may be setting themselves up to make the same mistake Romney made," Corsi said.
"The Democrats are playing classic interest group politics, promising Obama phones, food stamps, extended unemployment insurance – whatever it takes to persuade voters they will get a greater benefit back for the tax dollars they pay into the system, if they pay any at all," Corsi said.
"It is going to be hard for Republicans to break through and communicate with an interest group voter that doesn't care about anything except to ask, 'What is this candidate going to do for me?'"
Corsi was doubtful traditional Republican themes stressing lower taxes and private enterprise would work in an environment in which the Democrats are refining their skills to persuade voters who are becoming increasingly dependent on a generous social welfare state.
"Republicans in New Jersey sound like they intend to rely on grand themes and political rallies, while giving lip service to database microtargeting and computer-driven voter intelligence GOTV systems," Corsi said.
"This may have worked a decade ago, but it is a losing strategy when the Democrats intend to know where every likely Democratic voter in New Jersey lives and have a plan to get that person to the polls on Election Day."
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