Seven months before the 2012 election, veteran Republican operative and data expert, Justin Gargiulo, attended a conference where voter contact and database management platform providers were given a panel to promote their products. Of the six panelists at the non-partisan conference, three represented firms that worked with only progressive campaigns, the other three, worked with both sides. Of the three non-partisan vendors, two were represented on the panel by former Democrat Congressional candidates.
There were no Republican firms.
One week later, Justin’s team began work on VoterTrove, a voter contact and volunteer management application to be offered exclusively to conservative campaigns and causes. The cloud-based web application was released eight weeks before the election.
Although VoterTrove had limited time to make a large footprint in 2012, it was well received by both volunteers and clients including Allen West for Congress.
The absence of conservative technologists at the conference in April proved to be a harbinger in a cycle where Republicans would be caught flat footed by the other side. The tech gap culminated in a widely publicized failure in election day GOTV technology.
We participated in the post-mortem. We listened. Then we built. Fast.
VoterTrove was re-released in May of 2013 with added features and an enhanced interface. The platform streamlines data management allowing both voter and non-voter data to be stored in a central location. We have also added to our suite of integrated outreach tools which now includes virtual phone banks, canvassing tools, RoboCalls, AutoPolls, Patch-Through Calls, email, and text messaging. On the digital side, we have integrated Facebook data with the voter file allowing volunteers to connect with the people they know best to advocate for a campaign.
Enough has been written about the bleak outlook of the technology infrastructure of the Republican party. We see 2012 as an awakening. The RNC has put data at the forefront and its plans to open up the data trust to Republican vendors will foster unprecedented competition and innovation. The bottom-up approach will reward entrepreneurship and center on one of the party’s core principles of encouraging free markets.
We embrace the opportunity and look forward to becoming part of the solution.