Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.
Insiders Explain How Mitt Romney's Campaign Completely Fell Apart On Election Day
As conservatives search for an explanation for Mitt Romney's loss, much of the blame has been directed at the collapse of his campaign's Election Day get out the vote efforts, a massive organizational failure that resulted in lower Republican turnout than even John McCain got in 2008.
A major source of Romney's GOTV problems appears to have been the disastrous Project ORCA, an expensive technological undertaking that was supposed to provide the campaign with real-time poll monitoring that would allow Republicans to target GOTV efforts on Election Day.
But on almost all counts, ORCA failed miserably.
Most people on the campaign "weren't that surprised" by ORCA's failure, said one Republican communications strategist close to the Romney campaign.
"They wouldn't let anyone outside of Romney political circle in on it until basically November 6," the strategist said. "The digital strategy was so incomprehensible — they were playing Super Nintendo while Obama's people had PS3."
"Their priorities were so screwed up — [they were] hypersensitive about information security, but also wanted to use the best technology they could," the strategist continued. "In the end they got neither. They put out a laughable GOTV product."
In an interview last week, the attorney, one of the "Lawyers for Romney" who volunteered to help the campaign's legal team by watching the polls on Election Day, described how the Romney campaign sent its legal volunteers the wrong training information, failed to provide volunteers with information about where they were supposed to be on Election Day, and stopped responding to phone calls and emails in the final two weeks of the campaign.
"It was basically a disaster," the attorney said. "They never explained what we were supposed to be doing — where we were supposed to start, where we were supposed to end, what I was supposed to do at the end of the night — they didn't explain any of it....A month before, you couldn't get a phone call or an email answered."
"Four out of eight of my polling places didn't have a poll observer," the attorney continued. "How you don't even get people credentialed properly is beyond my comprehension."
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They can blame ORCA all they want. What they failed to do was connecting and inspiring people on ground-level.
As David Plouffe -a senior White House adviser who managed Obama's campaign four years ago- said:
Potential party candidates in future elections could not assume the Obama ground apparatus would automatically be at their disposal.
"You just can't transfer this," said David Plouffe,
"People are not going to spend hours away from their families and their jobs, contributing financially when it's hard for them to do it unless they believe in the candidate."
"For candidates who want to try and build a grassroots campaign, it's not going to happen because there is a list or because you have the best technology. That's not how this works," Plouffe said.
"They have to build up that kind of emotional appeal so that people are willing to go out there and spend the time and their resources and provide their talents because they believe in someone and in what you're offering," he said.
"The only reason that all this happened on the ground - whether it was 08 or this time … was because they believed in Barack Obama."
Back to the drawing-board GOP.
Edited by EllJay, 12 November 2012 - 10:49 PM.