Republicans are running a 1.0 digital ground game operation in a 3.0 world — and they know it.In typical Republican-style prescience...
At their recent leadership retreat, Chairman Reince Priebus and others sounded the bell for closing the vast technological divide that made all the difference for Democrats in getting out the vote last fall in numbers that stunned the pundit class.It comes as no surprise that the relevance of the GOP's core ideas and principles are similarly reflected in their reluctance to embrace technology. Out-of-date and obsolete, ten years is a long time to wait for a level playing field in the digital age:
Simply put, the Democratic National Committee has nearly a decade’s jump — and counting — thanks to innovative software for gathering detailed voter information that includes input from Democratic campaigns at every level of the ballot.And that “decade” estimate is being generous — Democrats aren't going to sit around waiting for them to catch up. They may succeed in closing the gap to some degree, but Reince Priebus is drunk if he thinks this is going to happen:
“And in the digital space, we don’t want just to keep up. We want to seize the lead.”Others seem to agree with the results of my virtual Breathalyzer test:
That’s easier said than done, and insiders aren’t heartened that the most specific he got was references to well-worn online video conferencing tools. [in reference to Skype]Priebus suggested the following on Friday:
There is one clear, overriding lesson from November: we didn’t have enough voters. So, we have to find more supporters. We have to go places we haven’t been, and we have to invite new people to join us.So I would assume they want to do something like this:
[i]nformation allowed Democrats in 2012 to identify likely voters and customize campaign messages for targeted groups [...] they used the data to find new voters and ensure they get to the polls.For the sake of discussion, let's pretend that, after having recognized their vastly underappreciated goodwill towards humankind so far, God performs a Miracle granting Republicans tech-savvy parity with Democrats. What message will they be transmitting to all these potential Republican vote-casting units?
Maybe they'll pre-screen them first with a questionaire like this one, adapted from a diary of mine the other day:
In order to determine your suitability for membership in the Republican Party, please check the answer that best applies to you.Nah, that's probably much closer to the truth than they'd care to reveal, so something like this will end up in email inboxes across the entire political spectrum instead:
Regarding my financial situation, I consider myself:
[ ] Well-off
[ ] On food stamps
My race/ethnicity is:
[ ] White
[ ] None of the above
My gender is:
[ ] Male
[ ] Child production / husband support and service unit
Which best describes your concept of the Sanctity of Life:
[ ] Life is more precious before birth, no exceptions
[ ] Kids living in abject poverty
Regarding the right to keep and bear arms:
[ ] I am gun-slinging patriot
[ ] I am a kid-protecting tyrant
I believe marriage is:
[ ] Between a man and woman, not a bunch of “perverts”
[ ] None of the above
If you are Latino, please indicate your current status:
[ ] I have my papers
[ ] I do not have my papers
Dear Voter:The good news for Republicans is that they aren't complete n00bs:
We love working-class people. We love kids, and our armed guards are on duty 24/7 to protect them. We're leading the way on immigration reform. We're continuing to protect the social safety net, just like we always have. We're shortening the lines on election day to make it easier for you to vote for your favorite Republican candidate.
Thank you for voting Republican. :-)
In freedom, liberty, and Christ,
Republican National Committee Chairman
There were some efforts in 2012 to replicate elements of the Democrats’ apparatus, but they were short-lived, glitchy or parochial. Romney, for instance, tried to create an Election Day database program called ORCA to keep track of who had made it to the polls and who needed prodding. It was a spectacular flop; volunteers weren’t properly trained and the bug-riddled system crashed at crucial moments.Ok, maybe they are n00bs after all.
That last line, “bug-riddled system that crashed at crucial moments,” is a new computer book begging to be written:
“Every day that goes by, we are getting further and further behind.”Will they be able to catch up, speed by, and leave us in the digital dust? Not with this attitude, they won't:
“The nature of conservatism is about individual free-market thinking and competition and not about looking to create a strong collective for the betterment of society,” [said Vincent Harris, GOP Digital Strategist].I guess even the internet must be some socialist experiment. Besides, Republicans just aren't into that whole “betterment of society thing” anyway.
“It’s almost a socialist premise.”
That should tell us all we need to know about the Grand Old Party.
(my emphasis in any quotes)