A Glimpse of Scott Walker’s Potential Digital Sophistication

The final print edition of Campaigns & Elections landed in the e.politics bunker a few days ago, reminding me that I failed miserably at promoting the current Technology Bytes column when it went online back in April. C&E may be done as a magazine, but it’s running strong as a website, and the next Tech Bytes will be online-only (I’m already working on some juicy stories).

But first, let’s look back a few weeks at the last version to appear in print. One story not to miss: the potential online and data sophistication of a Scott Walker campaign, based on a presentation by his digital director, Matt Oczkowski. In three elections over just a few years, Walker’s team seems to have built an operation that’s primed to leverage digital tools to help win Walker the Republican presidential nomination. Matt discussed data-driven outreach, voter-data feedback loops (i.e., allowing information from direct voter contact to influence the modeling for the next round of outreach) and an Obama-style voter scoring system to prioritize people to contact. Impressive! Of course, data and outreach are only as effective as the messages and the messenger behind them, so we’ll see what happens when Walker plays this game on a national stage.

Also in the column: a look at how Republican campaign staffers’ digital pasts have come back to haunt them, costing some folks their jobs in the process. Plus, major campaign website mistakes, a topic we’ll likely take up again soon. Check it out, and look for the new digital-only version to be online in the next couple of weeks.

cpd

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