Out: clip-boards, pencils and phone calls to headquarters.
In: iPhones, iPads and an app that, Republican Mitt Romney's campaign says, will allow its field staffers and volunteers communicate in near-real time with Boston hq. That way, say, honchos in the Northeast could know in real time if the campaign is missing its targeted voters and key precincts. After a few database queries, they could then find out who hasn't voted and contact them.
The one mystery of the whole concept: Why they named it ORCA. This Romney-camp memo doesn't say. Here it is:
The project operates via a web-based app volunteers use to relay the most up-to-date poll information to a “national dashboard” at the Boston headquarters. From there, data will be interpreted and utilized to plan voter turnout tactics on Election Day.
Project ORCA enhances and magnifies the impact of the turnout operation. To date, we have more than 34,000 volunteers throughout the target states, and we will have more than 800 volunteers at headquarters in Boston, who will serve as a sort of “help desk,” making sure volunteers in the states have everything they need to get their job done.
It is estimated that Project ORCA will decipher 18 to 23 million people have voted by the time all voting has concluded. This massive “sample size” not only ensure the most accurate ballot projections ever, but it will also ensure hyper-accuracy of our supporter targeting as we work to turn them out to the polls.
The general idea is to conduct the world’s largest exit poll. Through Project ORCA, at any given moment we will know the current ballot in every State, DMA & County… For example: if we happen to be down in a state at lunch time, we can pinpoint exactly what is causing. So, if we know we’re going to win X state by 3 points, let’s move our resources to Y state, county. In sum, Project ORCA will give us an enormous advantage by being able to know the current result of a state.
Another key component to Project ORCA is state-of-the-art dashboard. For the past several months, a “brain” has been built into this dashboard and it will take-in, analyze and recommend actions on the millions of pieces of incoming data. In the fast-paced environment of an Election Day command center – having this programmed “brain” will alert decision-makers to key findings and suggest reallocation of resources.
Project ORCA will also allow us to filter out Romney supporters who have already voted from all of our GOTV lists. So all volunteers, whether physically at a phone bank or calling online will no longer be calling several supporters who have already cast a vote. Instead, we’ll see an unprecedented efficiency among volunteer turnout efforts where virtually no phone calls or time is wasted calling those who have already voted.