The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Romney digital director pushes back against critics of data and IT failure

Zac Moffatt, the Romney’s campaign’s digital director, is pushing back on that accusations that the Boston-based operation failed to properly use social media and collect information on voters.

“I can’t just sit by and let people say that Republicans gave up on data.”

“This isn’t a zero sum game,” he told The Daily Caller. “One side doesn’t have 100 percent of the good ideas, and one side doesn’t have 100 percent of the bad ideas.”

The much-vaunted Obama campaign data collection operation, which allowed Democratic strategists to carefully target and reach voters in its get out the vote operation, has been praised by political observers for its sophistication and effectiveness. A similar Republican effort, meanwhile, has been heavily criticized.

Many younger Republican operatives have vented their frustration to the media in the days following last week’s election. They say that Boston failed to learn many lessons from the 2008 presidential election, including the importance of social media. Some Republicans are saying this ineffective digital operation ultimately cost the campaign thousands of votes in the final hours of Election Day.

Even visible elements of the Romney campaign’s flawed use of consultant-designed technology were harshly criticized by campaign volunteers, in particular the misspelling of “America” on the Romney campaign’s iPhone app.

Project ORCA, the Romney campaign’s digital get out the vote strategy, which hinged largely on the use of smart-phones and tablets, has been roundly criticized for its technical and usability failures.

Some called the operation a “consultant con job”, and specifically celled out the Republican-contracted social media companies Targeted Victory, FLS Connect and The Stevens and Schriefer Group for the failure. Even Moffatt himself caught flack from operatives within the campaign.

Moffatt pushed back against notions that Republicans had failed to use their data correctly, and were once again behind the technological curve.

“We had five integrated databases with eight terabytes of data on 191 million people. That’s what big data is,” said Moffatt.