Science and Technology in the 2012 Campaign

Regardless of your political leanings, the role of science and technology in this year’s Presidential campaign was inescapable and dramatic. And examples keep surfacing that show the losing side did a poor job of managing technology and interpreting data.

The success of Nate Silver’s predictions are well documented all over the web. The GOP strategists refused believe his models would work, even as every news organization in the US — including Fox News — recognized that Obama had gotten enough electoral votes to call it.

Now it turns out that the Romney campaign tried to build a new online system to help coordinate the efforts of their polling volunteers. Which is great! It’s good to see both sides trying new things. But the project, called ORCA, turned into a disaster because they apparently didn’t apply even basic testing to the system before election day, and it probably ended up hampering the campaign’s election day efforts.

Politico has some analysis, and the original post by the campaign volunteer is a good read, too.

The lesson? You can’t half-ass your technology these days.