There’s some real innovation starting to take place in center right politics in regards to political technology, and we’d like to think Voter Gravity is right at the forefront if it all. However, in the midst of this revolution, it’s probably good to remind people that technology is a means to an end. It is not the end in and of itself.
Having great technology and great data are a must if the center right is to make gains in future elections. But having great “whizbangery” is not going to actually cause the center right to win. It’s knowing how to use said whizbangery that will help the center right win. Harper Reed, the Chief Technology Officer of the Obama for America campaign, said, “The technology was not the real innovation. The real innovation was the ground game.” It was Obama’s technology that refined voter contact to very targeted demographics with the right messages, and allowed the volunteers to focus on the right voters with the best message that was the recipe for success.
It was about having as personal a contact as possible with voters, and emphasizing the quality of the contacts (I wrote about some of this for The American Spectator back in May). So in conversations about political technology, especially in regards to canvassing and GOTV, we have to emphasize what it’s about ultimately: live voter contact.
It’s that shift that needs to take place on the center right: using political technology to shift how it approaches politics and emphasizes more live contact with targeted voters. It’s not about door literature drops or an over-emphasis on phone banks (though Voter Gravity has a predictive phone system), but actual real life conversations and interactions with targeted voters.
That’s what technology like Voter Gravity is meant to do: take volunteers or candidates going door-to-door on the most efficient route to the right doors to talk with the right voters to ask the right questions. Then, with the data collected, empower candidates or advocacy groups to be able to make strategic and even financial decisions.