Where is the RNC's VoteBuilder Software?
A friend went to help another friend who is running for the local School Committee. I'm being coy because my friend did a little undercover work and showed me screenshots of the software the candidate was using, something called VoteBuilder, "a partnership between the DNC and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee."
It was as sophisticated as anything I have seen while volunteering for Romney and McCain. The software provides the voter name, age, phone number, the voter's polling location, a script for the caller to read with questions like, "Do you need a ride to the polls?" Nothing revolutionary here, but it was thorough.
More importantly, it was a website (protected with sign-in and passwords), which means that a group of people with laptops and cell phones in a living room becomes an instant call center. To make calls for Romney and McCain, I had to schlep into downtown Boston and sit in a harshly- lit rented space where phone banks had been installed at significant expense. I had to take the subway down because there was no parking. I went down by myself and didn't know anyone there. It really wasn't much fun. Compare this experience to joining a team of friends in the comfort of a private house within walking distance of home.
Obama's technological superiority during the presidential election is no secret. According to VoteBuilder's creator NGP VAN (Voter Activation Network), "During the 2012 campaign cycle, VAN/VoteBuilder powered more than 329 million door and phone contacts with voters throughout the country."
Keep in mind that this software was available to a candidate in a local school committee election. This race was non-partisan -- no party affiliations are declared on the ballot, but as you might guess in Massachusetts, our friend is a Democrat and the field was comprised of eight Democrats and one candidate who might be a Republican. This level of support is simply not available to Republican candidates on the local level.
From the NGP/VAN website:
Many have noted since the 2012 election the edge that Democrats have through VoteBuilder. For example:
• Politico recently called VoteBuilder "innovative software" that is "a powerful weapon that the GOP simply won't match in the near term."
• Republican strategist Vincent Harris said of VoteBuilder, "Every day that goes by, we are getting further and further behind."
• Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini stated that the gulf was large: "Republicans do not have an actual counterpart to VAN."
• Peter Pasi, digital consultant for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's presidential campaign said "Obama for America gets the headline, but the VAN did the work behind the scenes on a lot of local races that made the difference."
• South Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Alex Stroman compared VoteBuilder to the Republican GOP Data Center: "We're driving a Volkswagen Beetle when everyone else is driving a Dodge Charger."
These quotes refer to the 2012 defeat that occurred one year ago. Has the RNC made any progress since?