Skip to comments.Exclusive - Inside Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote
Posted on 11/08/2012 10:30:53 PM PST by stillonaroll
As Republicans try to explain their Election Day losses in terms of policy, tactics, and strategy, one factor is emerging as the essential difference between the Obama and Romney campaigns on November 6: the absolute failure of Romneys get-out-the-vote effort, which underperformed even John McCains lackluster 2008 turnout. One culprit appears to be Orca, the Romneys massive technology effort, which failed completely.
Likewise, Twitchy recorded widespread real-time complaints and criticisms on Twitter by Project Orca volunteers. At one point during Election Day, the system had malfunctioned so badly that desperate volunteers wondered if the program had been hacked.
Before the election, there was much fear-mongering on the Democratic side about the Republicans supposed plans to suppress turnout among Obama voters. After the election, GOP strategist Karl Rove accused the Obama campaign of suppressing the vote by running a negative campaign against Romney that kept voters at home.
The truth is much worse. There was, in fact, massive suppression of the Republican vote--by the Romney campaign, through the diversion of nearly 40,000 volunteers to a failing computer program.
There was no Plan B; there was only confusion, and silence.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
Wow! That shows a stunning level of campaign incompetence.
Can anyone run the Republican Party? I mean who is running this show, they haven’t had a decent chairman since Lee Atwater.
“The Rats have mastered the new technology, but we have not.”
I don’t buy that general premise. We did not have major glitches in 2004. I have to put it on the current team and only suggest someone thought their were more brilliant than the 2004 team, rewrote everything and screwed it all up.
The 2004 process used VPN (Virtual Private Network), personal over-the-Internet-from-home, plus Email driven downloads and uploads against the same, constant-real-time updated database - making all activity whether call center run or otherwise seemless with each other. “Facebook” and “Twitter” apps would have integrated with it with ease. There was just no excuse. We have mastered it.
I have to put it on the current team and only suggest someone thought they were more brilliant than the 2004 team, rewrote everything completely and screwed it all up. Frankly, that kind of “I’m better than the last guy” mentality is NOT foreign in the IT world; and I’d guess the Dims have a 50/50 chance of rewriting their operation in some worse fashion next time.
I have similar thoughts. Other than tax policy, I probably won't be following politics as much as I have.
However, I think it is instructive to do a post-mortem on this election. There are a lot more problems than just GOTV, but it is something that the GOP must execute much better in the future.
Capn Ahab killed Moby Dick ???
My theory is that the Rats gained a few points in GOTV-driven turnout since 2004 because they have "evolved" their campaign strategy, while the R's have not kept up.
I can see how an elderly McCain campaign would fail to keep up with technological advances, but inexcusable for someone as successful in business as Romney said he was.
Good ideas there. Don't have top down organized GOTV without strong local GOTV efforts. Most importantly, don't wait until the presidential election to test the system.
the problem is not “smartphone” technology or not
most any “smartphone” user has access to the Internet ON the “smartphone” using the browser app on the smartphone, and has access to their Email from the smartphone, and can upload and download files from their smartphone; and the database in 2004 was fully integrated from all points, as I said
and, in fact all the 2004 “Internet” links would continue to work through “smartphones” without an specific “GOTV smartphone app”
the essentials of the system is simply linking all volunteers to the same database, so as to say: “here’s some people and their phone numbers that need calling”, the confirmation reponse that the assignment is accepted, the volunteer follow-up response which is no more than a check-off list of which of the assigned numbers were called, and what the response was; and that response confirms two things - calls completed and calls that are again open to be called by someone else because they were not called or were called and not reached
using a “smartphone” does not change that operation or its requirements to any great degree
I think the 2004GWB operation had involved close to a million volunteers on the system in the final week of the campaign
I can’t think of much of it I could not do from my smartphone today that I did from my PC in 2004.
NO. I think someone rewrote the base system, thinking, in error, “smartphone” technology required it, when in fact anything special for “smartphones” would have only needed extensions to the system as it was in 2004, but I am frankly not certain any were really needed.
However, that kind of contact, from someone polite and articulate, seems very unlikely to motivate a voter to actually vote for the other candidate. The most likely result is no change in voter behavior, but a certain percentage will be persuaded and will vote accordingly. That is enough to sway a close election.
The Rats do more of it, and are better at it, than we are.
My packet arrived Sunday morning - 3:25 am. I tried to cut and paste the relevant section unsuccessfully - but the bottom middle “Chair...” was correct on mine - the checkbox was labeled “Copy of Credentials”. My credentials were emailed to me Sunday night. Pretty close call in this kind of operation.
I was never able to log in from my phone (did get to the proper https page ok - put in login id and password, just never worked). Never worked. There was another volunteer at my voting location, he was able to get through for a very brief period. Absolute disaster in operation - I called and did get through to headquarters, only to be told it was down and would be up in a few minutes - then resetting my password, then my Logon ID and password - never willing to implement any of the backup procedures they had established. 30000 volunteers - I would really like a report on the result but havent seen one. How much information was actually gathered on election day - about 20 names made it through from my voting location in a timely manner - out of almost 1600 that voted, leaving several hundred that could have been contacted. We gathered the information by hand on our printouts but had no way to effectively give the information to them - even though I offered multiple ways to effectively give it to them, either by marked up email or by phone.
Romneys team really blew this one. Big time. I know they were worried about being hacked, and maybe they were - they should let us know. I spent 13 hours straight dedicated to trying to make this work - 30000 people that were vetted (they checked all volunteers to make sure they didnt have telltale signs of being pro-Obama - checking social media, etc...)and were enthusiastic to help make a difference - and instead of truly organizing to the local level where things could have been effective - they wasted our time and lost what should have been won.
Its obvious the Democrats cheated - the high (100% in some precincts) voter turnout is absolutely unbelievable. I frankly was amazed at the difficulties the likely Obama voters had - they had just moved in, didn’t have ID, expired drivers licenses, etc... that caused a lot of provisional votes if at all, to think 100% could do it all right in Cleveland, give me a break. But even if cleaned up Obama probably still have won a very, very slim majority due to some conservatives unwillingness to support a non-perfect candidate and the absolute failure of the GOTV effort because someone made a decision to go big - modernize. When all the votes are actually in, the analysis seems to support he will have had more votes than McCain - while Obamas numbers collapsed from 4 years ago. If Project Orca had actually worked, Romney should have won by a large margin.
Sorry to vent - Im just p****d that Centinella did not get this thing field tested - a dry run that would have given them time to fix the flaws. In retrospect, at least in Ohio where voter lists are updated at 11am and 4pm, the Party needs to work a deal with the state to just get a download of the information - even if they pay for it. Would be well worth it, would have accomplished the goal for knowledge and freed up thousands of volunteers to actually get the vote out.
The campaign needs to expect such dirty tricks and plan for them.
I worked for a giant aerospace company. In 1984 we were working on a multi-billion dollar proposal.
We found out that our General Manager’s secretary was sleeping with the Program Manager of the competitor.
We created a secret, alternative proposal with themes, pricing, etc. and made sure it crossed her desk.
We won, of course. The enemy bought it....hook, line, and sinker.
Trap ‘em, spoof ‘em, deceive ‘em.
“My theory is that the Rats gained a few points in GOTV-driven turnout since 2004 because they have “evolved” their campaign strategy, while the R’s have not kept up.”
my theory is that any technical snafu was less than the actual, in the precints “ground game” making use of what all the volunteers got into the database
lastly, the GWB campaign and the RNC were integrated in 2004 with respect to the GOTV effort and its ground game, & they did not depend on the party apparatus in the states for that effort or the ground game in the precincts; it connected with them but the RNC people, organized for work in the precincts, did not work for or on the instructions of the state party people; I don’t know how the operations connected or did not connect this time
Are you effing kidding me? What a disaster.
I wasn't with ORCA (thank God). I was with lawyers for Romney which is a different branch. This one was done old school. The person in charge here made sure I had my credentials and did a good job with us.
Credentials matters are basic poll challenging 101. No poll chair in his right mind will allow someone in without proper credentials. They take poll security very seriously.
Unbelievable. Before worrying about the fancy stuff, take care of logistics 101.
Love it! Seems the R's can't seem to learn that being nice to the Rats will never be reciprocated.
And of course, no mention of the fact that Mitt Romney was not like by the base at all, that he supported both Abortion and the Gay Agenda and the negative impacts that had on Christians voting.
No, the problem was all procedural, not the fact that he was the worst GOP Presendential candidate ever!
Romney's weakness as a candidate is also a separate issue, and we must avoid--at all cost--another Romney/McCain/Dole nominee.
What Breitbart and others are highlighting is a failure of a key component of winning campaigns: GOTV = get out the vote operations. The GOP's Orca technology failed miserably, as a number of FReepers experienced personally.
In every election, there is a small percentage of marginal or persuadable voters, some of whom will only vote if given an extra nudge by a committed volunteer. In a close election, as we just experienced, those incremental votes can be crucial.
Hopefully, the Stupid Party has learned its lesson.
Whatever was done this time must not be done again.
My only demand of the GOP is that it is someone conservative!
Conservative and politically savvy. Many are one but not the other.
My Day with ORCA
As someone who has been involved in the IT end of a national political campaign: “Absolutely 100% typical clusterf**k, resulting from having non-technical campaign flunkies “managing” the implementation.”
My doctor-of-computer-science friend (the one who retrieved my data the 2 times when my computer was wiped out) told me that what he saw regarding the emails that have been intercepted suggested the Department of Homeland Security, since they would be about the only ones who have the ability to do what has been done.
The stuff I’ve got going on is routine stuff for anybody who’s been seriously investigating Obama’s eligibility. But messing with somebody’s computer is small beans compared to the death threats made and/or carried out over this issue.
Sounds like Romney’s people were either greedy, incompetent, or traitors to his cause. Maybe all the above. Whether that explains everything or not, I don’t know. Murdering people is nothing to the Obama regime; I put nothing past them. We’ll probably never know the full story because nobody who can investigate will do so.
At one critical point in my research I had an email from a colleague (with damaging information about Obama’s birth record) that was intercepted and not delivered to me until 2 weeks after she sent it. I asked my doctor-of-computer-science friend how this could happen and he said that would be done at ISP level and as far as he knew could only be authorized by Dept of Homeland Security.
Or interference. If piddly little me can have my emails intercepted and not allowed to be delivered, then somebody like Romney and Ryan’s campaign would be an obvious target for the same kind of sabotage.
What I think happened is than Romney’s team pulled a Bain Capital and outsourced the programming to the lowest bidder, probably in India! Forget Republican or Democratic programmers. Start by hiring American programmers!
Oh, and like the IT techs have pointed out, you NEVER roll out new software without a lot of testing and training. Sounds like Romney saved money there too by omitting those steps.
If the Republican Party is too stupid to run an election, how can they be trusted to run the country?!?
Any competent IT person would tell you that this was a disaster waiting to happen. So buck up, take responsibility for YOUR failures and fix them for the next election. Blame others and you’ll never learn and you’ll lose yet again.