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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems’ Edge in GOTV Technology Vexes GOP

Democrats should enjoy an edge in GOTV information and technology for at least a couple more elections, suggests Nate Silver in his FiveThirtyEight post, “In Silicon Valley, Technology Talent Gap Threatens G.O.P. Campaigns.” Silver explains:

Companies like Google and Apple do not have their own precincts on Election Day. However, it is possible to make some inferences about just how overwhelmingly Democratic are the employees at these companies, based on fund-raising data. (The Federal Election Commission requires that donors to presidential campaigns disclose their employer when they make a campaign contribution.)
Among employees who work for Google, Mr. Obama received about $720,000 in itemized contributions this year, compared with only $25,000 for Mr. Romney. That means that Mr. Obama collected almost 97 percent of the money between the two major candidates…Apple employees gave 91 percent of their dollars to Mr. Obama. At eBay, Mr. Obama received 89 percent of the money from employees.
…Mr. Obama’s popularity among the staff at these companies holds even for those which are not headquartered in California. About 81 percent of contributions at Microsoft, which is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., went to Mr. Obama. So did 77 percent of those at I.B.M., which is based in Armonk, N.Y.

With such numbers, it’s hard to see how Republicans close the GOTV technology gap in time for the 2014, or perhaps even the 2016 elections. As Silver concludes, “It does not require an algorithm to deduce that the sort of employees who may be willing to donate substantial money to a political campaign may also be those who would consider working for it.”
it’s not just the excellence of Democratic GOTV technology that made a major difference; there’s also the dismal failure of Gov. Romney’s widely dissed ‘Project Orca’ GOTV machine. All in all, however, the Dems had a much larger ‘talent pool,’ from which to recruit for their technology infrastructure — and that may have provided a pivotal advantage.

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