March 25th, 2012
For another of the occasional glimpses we get of the Obama campaign’s comprehensive effort to re-energize his 2008 online supporters, check out this article from The Times, which came out right before I ran off to Austin for SXSW:
With a “chief scientist” specializing in consumer behavior, an “analytics department” monitoring voter trends, and a squad of dozens huddled at computer screens editing video or writing code, the sprawling office complex inside One Prudential Plaza looks like a corporate research and development lab — Ping-Pong table and all.
But it is home to the largely secret engine of President Obama’s re-election campaign, where scores of political strategists, data analysts, corporate marketers and Web producers are sifting through information gleaned from Facebook, voter logs and hundreds of thousands of telephone or in-person conversations to reassemble and re-energize the scattered coalition of supporters who swept Mr. Obama into the White House four years ago.
So Mr. Obama’s re-election team is sifting through reams of data available through the Internet or fed to it by its hundreds of staff members on the ground in all 50 states, identifying past or potential supporters and donors and testing e-mail and Web-based messages that can entice them back into the fold.
One key task? Simply LOCATING supporters who’ve moved, changed jobs, switched email addresses or otherwise dropped off the campaign’s list. Plus there’s the question of how to motivate those folks whose enthusiasm has hasn’t survived the ugly realities of governing and the long years of the Great Recession and slow recovery. But we’ve already seen that Obama’s campaign is willing to dedicate vast resources to rebuilding its grassroots infrastructure, and the resulting turnout operation promises to dwarf any realistic Republican competition. If 2012 turns out to be tight, it may win him a second term. If he’s way ahead anyway, watch to see how many House and Senate seats it sways.