As an aside I've dabbled in that type of big data analytics, more working on the fringes of projects, so I understand the power that gives a business, or in this case a campaign, when you have that type of advantage over a direct competitor.
It's truly a knife at a gun fight situation. I read some articles on the Obama campaign and their use of big data. It was impressive, and it's something the GOP is going to have to duplicate to keep up.
Actually I'm right OTP, and you admitted it. Winning an election is about voter mobilization. Do you think everyone who voted Dem agrees with the entire platform, and everyone who votes GOP agrees with the entire platform? Of course not.
The trick is being able to frame your message to the individual so that you not only mobilize your base by sending them the right message but you mobilize the middle by sending them the right message.
Obama's campaign was far ahead of Romney's on the advanced analytics that allowed them to sell themselves to individuals on parts of their platform that were most likely to resonate with the voter. That's how you mobilize voters, and it more than anything else swayed the election.
I supposed maybe the Grizzlies would be less boring if they spent the entire game overreacting to every small bit of contact and then complaining to the refs about every call that didn't go their way.
I have a lot of respect for what the Spurs do as a team when it comes to real basketball, but the whining is tiring and takes away from what they do right.
The Grizzlies aren't all that different than the Spurs, just with a bit less whining. This team knows what it is, just like the Spurs, and it doesn't try to be something it isn't.
We have 3 starters that made first or second team All-Defense this year. We have two bigs that play well together and dominate the post by sheer force. We only have a few players that hit threes. Those shortcomings force us to a certain style of play, but I enjoy it, because it forces team basketball, and it forces us to play for the extra possessions (turnovers/rebounds) to win games. In a league full of players that play above the rim or live by hitting shots from 30 feet, it's unique to see a team that wins with neither.
You win national elections two ways, by swaying the middle AND energizing your own voter base.
So you're half right. The trick is being able to do both at the same time. This is where the Obama campaign schooled Romney in the past election.
See, the trick isn't what you actually do with policy. It's how you sell yourself to the masses. Your actions and your actual policy, unless it causes dramatic change, has less of an impact than your sales pitch.
Let's use an example. You are clearly a hardcore right wing Republican. Let's say your neighbor is a more moderate, possibly right leaning voter, but he is more interested in a specific fiscal sales pitch. Can you imagine if the Romney campaign was able to target each of you separately with different sales pitches tailored specifically to the talking points that energized you individually?
That would work a lot better than hosting ads on your local TV station aimed specifically at one of you while simultaneously angering the other of you.
That's essentially what the Obama campaign did in this past election through use of big data tools. The Republicans were so far behind in data analytics when it came to voters this past election. They brought a knife to a gun fight. That's why Obama cleaned up in the swing states. It's not because he was overwhelmingly supported by the country. It's that their voter targeting and messaging was done at a granularly targeted level that the Republican party couldn't touch, and therefore they were able to swing votes in the key areas they needed. Had the data tools been even, the election would've been fairly close.
Point being, you've got to be able to do both, energize your base AND reach to the middle. That means selling yourself to one population as something and then selling yourself to another population as something else. Some might call that lying. I call it politics.
By the way, the point of my example was to say that given a free society, anyone has the opportunity to make something for themselves. It may not have always been that way, but it's there now.
Point of clarification, my wife's grandfather that started out with nothing started his own business from scratch. He made his own contacts, built his customer base, all of that on his own. He didn't get a job from someone else.
I really don't care to continue the argument other than to say that the only certainty is that those who are waiting for someone else (the government or anyone else) to get them out of poverty isn't going to make it.
Regardless of the situation or the history, individuals still have to seek a way up the social ladder for themselves. That fact will never change.
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By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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