So data nerds are sexy now. I was at a party talking up a really attractive young lady, when some nerd with a pocket protector interrupted me and sad, "Why are you wasting your time with this loser? I'm a data miner! I single-handedly won Ohio for Obama." Before I knew what was happening, I was having an in-depth conversation by myself with the punch bowl. What can I say, it's Washington, DC.
There's lots of articles out there touting how brilliant Obama's data nerds were this cycle. It sort of like after a team wins the Super Bowl we find out how crucial the third-string inside linebacker was to the winning team, and the touching story about his three-legged cat and his widowed aunt.
They say the Obama's team was like a bunch of rocket scientists. Maybe, but like anything, rocket scientists can be bought. So next go round, the Republican candidate will probably budget some of his billion dollars to buying a bunch of data nerds. Oh noes! What will we do? Follow me after the jump and I'll bring you back from the ledge.
Here's the bottom line: Data nerds don't win elections: candidates do. Yeah, it was great that the data nerds found a bunch of marginal convincible voters that no one had found before and was instrumental to getting them to the polls. But you know what was really great? Our candidate wasn't a douche bag. Voters like that. Or rather, they don't hate it, and that's almost the same thing.
Maybe the Republicans don't have as many data-minable voters out there. I dunno. Until we get 100% voter turnout, there's always going to be slackers to be had.
Next time out, Republicans are going to hire them a bunch of data nerds. Hiring data nerds and using them effectively is not a Democratic or a Republican thing. Maybe our next Democratic guy or gal's campaign will come up with some neato-keen way to get voters that no one has ever thought of before, and we'll still lead in the data nerds arm race. But I doubt it.
The thing to remember though, is that their catching up won't matter. Like the old insult says, the R candidate can lose some weight, but he or she will still be ugly. Jobs, health care, immigration, foreign policy, gays, you name it - they'll still be ugly. And there ain't no data nerd going to make them pretty.