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In the aftermath of the 2012 Republican defeat, we have no shortage of GOP strategists willing to embrace the impact of data and technology in electoral politics. All but the most stubborn are also racing to implement some form of “new software tools” or “Big Data analytics” into their strategic rhetoric moving forward, in an effort to “catch up to the left” and their successful use of new tech.

Most speak of their decision to accept the way campaigning has changed as transformative, as if choosing to ditch the pencil and paper will itself put Republicans on even ground with the opposition.

The truth is that campaigning has not only changed – it is continuing to change. Simply implementing comparable techniques to what Obama’s 2012 team utilized (while a huge step forward for most Republican efforts) will not be enough. The Democrats’ 2012 data operations were successful not because they had never been used before; they were successful because they had been used before – and built upon nonstop since the day Obama was first elected in 2008. Continue reading →