07 November 2012

Ann's Horse Didn't Win, Either

My, my. A recent missive here asserted that Gallup was wrong. Gallup was wrong right up to the end, although according to 538, they had inched toward Obambi at the end. Didn't quite get there. But that's not today's topic.

Turns out, Willard had his version of Triage!! I know nothing, nothing I say, about it. Except what I read in the newspapers.

The success, though, would have to depend on volunteer troops united by a Web-based smartphone app.
Is this the Literary Digest, all over again? Deja vu? I haven't found the original (I'm not on their mailing list, so...), here's the PR (from yet another Right Wing organ) referenced above. Figures that the Right Wingnuts would chose a predator as the project's nickname. I suppose, in their over-weening adolescence, they thought it was cool.

OTOH, there's this (kind of like Triage, don't you think):
For example: if we happen to be down in a state at lunch time, we can pinpoint exactly what is causing it. 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.

As described in the Triage piece, the key to making these kinds of systems work is timeliness of data. I suspect that these webby quants had never worked campaigns, spent time in a political city (my first two were Boston and DC), or understood that "dashboards" are cute, but GIGO.
In the primary, we learned it was difficult to be working from Boston and really affect voter turnout in the states. It was disappointing to receive data later and realize if we had access to that data earlier, we could have done something differently and affected the outcome.

Kind of late in the game, though. It's not quite as silly as my own state's Linda McMahon, who managed to get on the ballot more than once (as did Murphy). It seems that there were other parties officially on the ballot, which motivated McMahon to run ads in the last couple of days with talking head "real people" saying that they'd vote for Obama, and ..... Linda (as she termed herself, I suppose to offset the images of burly half naked men clobbering each other with metal chairs).

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.

Deja vu. That's the essence of Triage. But far too late in the game.

Here's the original, quoted liberally in the Yahoo! feed. It must have hurt. When I lived in Washington, there were a bunch of local papers in the Virginia and Maryland burbs. Thanks to WikiPedia, now I know why I hadn't heard of the Examiner: a mini-Koch bought them up some years ago and turned them into a freebie Washington Times. Mein Gott! Dat's gotta hurt.

Later, another aide said Orca had pretty much crashed in the heat of the action. "Somebody said Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it," said the aide.

You know, if only they'd built Orca with R. Open source and quite powerful. Kind of a community organized to analyze data. Turns out a community, once motivated, can kick Roark's butt.

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