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The Data Crunching Prowess of Barack Obama

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the mobilizer-in-chief dept.

Math 334

Hugh Pickens writes "Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, writes that Barack Obama may be struggling in the polls and even losing support among his core boosters, but when it comes to the modern mechanics of identifying, connecting with and mobilizing voters, as well as the challenge of integrating voter information with the complex internal workings of a national campaign, Obama's data analysis team is way ahead of the Republican pack. Alone among the major candidates running for president, the Obama campaign not only has a Facebook page with 23 million 'likes' (roughly 10 times the total of all the Republicans running), it has a Facebook app that is scooping up all kinds of juicy facts about his supporters and inside the Obama operation, his staff members are using a powerful social networking tool called NationalField, which enables everyone to share what they are working on. 'The holy grail of data analysis is data harmonization, or master data management,' says Alex Lundry, a Republican data-mining expert at TargetPoint Consulting. 'To have political talking to finance and finance talking to field, and data is flowing back and forth and informing the actions of each other — it sounds easy, but it's incredibly hard to implement.' Sifry writes that if the 2012 election comes down to a battle of inches, where a few percentage points change in turnout in a few key states making all the difference, we may come to see Obama's investment in predictive modelers and data scientists as the key to victory."

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All this shows (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37664974)

Is he's good at campaigning. Nobody has ever disputed that nor has he stopped campaigning since he won. He still sucks at presidenting.

So which other candidate is better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665212)

Which other candidate is better? All the Republicans want to shove their religion down our throats, and increase huge government spending even while complaining about how the Democrats want to increase huge goverment spending.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665442)

Show me where Herman Cain, John Huntsman, Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney want to "show religion down our throats". Bachman, Santorium and Perry do, but they aren't the entire field of Republicans running for President.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (2, Interesting)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665608)

You're seriously suggesting Newt Gingrich doesn't want to shove religion down our throats?

A really quick search (actually, I went to the Wikipedia page for Newt Gingrich and glanced through the citations at the bottom) turns up this [usnews.com] . Scary stuff, and it's only the first article I looked at.

Also, isn't Newt a huge supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act? That's huge government forcing religion down our throats right there. And after he has been divorced a couple times! Hypocrite.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666024)

Cain does. He thinks Muslims should have to take loyalty oaths.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665560)

As a non-American I'm not intimately familiar with the American election process, but does Obama have to run as the only Democrat candidate in this election? You couldn't elect a different Democrat?

Re:So which other candidate is better? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665672)

Technically the Democrats could put up another candidate, but historically that doesn't happen unless the incumbent has medical issues or something.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (2)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665700)

The Democrats could, in theory, nominate a different candidate. In practice, it is very difficult to wrest the nomination away from an incumbent. At this stage of the presidential race, it would take a miracle for sufficient support to coalesce behind another candidate. The organization would take several months to build, by which time it would be too late. IMHO, the only candidate who would have even the remotest chance of pulling this off would be Hilary Clinton, who of course is SecState, so that's not going to happen.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (4, Informative)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665872)

Ron Paul doesn't want to do any of that stuff you mentioned.

Re:So which other candidate is better? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666080)

So Ron Paul doesn't want to repeal the Roe v Wade decision and set women's rights in the US back 30 years?

Re:All this shows (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665224)

And call me old fashioned, but wasn't politics supposed to be about politicians spelling out their policies and views, and us voting for someone whose principles and policies we agree with? You know, a process with some integrity?

Not a whole bunch of refinements based on popular opinion until there's nothing left but a living, breathing popularity poll....

Maybe I'm just naive.

Re:All this shows (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665548)

And call me old fashioned, but wasn't politics supposed to be about politicians spelling out their policies and views

I would say, that for the period I've been alive, that the less politicians show of their beliefs, the more advantageous it is for them. They can be amiable and pretend to agree with you and be just as nice to the next guy with completely different viewpoints. The less they show their cards, the less people can pick out something to pick a fight with.

With the exception of Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, you'll have very few politicians spelling out where they stand and more just dance around it. Listen to debates or townhalls these days, or even past ones - they're an embarrassment. These people should be publicly bitch slapped every time they dance around the question, outright ignore it, or some other scheme where they pander to the electorate without actually really addressing the question. But they get away with it, people reward them with votes, and then bitch afterwards, which is meaningless.

Because the debates aren't neutral now. (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665684)

The "debates" are now hosted by the parties themselves instead of the League of Women Voters.

Control of the presidential debates has been a ground of struggle for more than two decades. The role was filled by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (LWV) civic organization in 1976, 1980 and 1984. In 1987, the LWV withdrew from debate sponsorship, in protest of the major party candidates attempting to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were conducted.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_debates [wikimedia.org]
So they're nothing more than a forum for the candidates to issue sound bites now.

Re:All this shows (1, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665704)

And as long as Obama supporters continue to mount absolutely absurd ad hominem attacks on conservatives, they will be even more motivated to come out and vote him out.

        We have mainstream media attacking Herman Cain as a racist or "race traitor", whatever the hell that means. Not only is that foolish, it's fodder for existing conservatives and highly offensive to a good fraction of existing African-American Democratic voters.

        Obama and Co. may (but probably aren't, I'm not going to even bother skewering the original puffpeice FA) good data miners, they are very severely tone-deaf, and their ever-more-desperate supporters are his worst enemy.

      But by all means, carry on....

        Brett

Re:All this shows (1, Flamebait)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665948)

Cite for those racially-motivated attacks?

If it's true, it's a stupid way to do it. It's better to show that he's a clueless prick by pointing out:

1) he's a homophobe
2) he's bigoted against Muslims
3) he's clueless about what's going on with the Wall Street protests and said that if those dirty hippies aren't employed, it's their fault.

There are plenty of /good/ reasons to slag Cain.

Re:All this shows (0, Flamebait)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665246)

I agree. Obama has sucked as a president. But unless something very unexpected happens, I'll vote for him again because the alternative is most likely an Anti American Tea Party Traitor.

Re:All this shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665542)

Because you think this way, Obama doesn't care about your vote.

Re:All this shows (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665738)

I would vote for Hillary Clinton (and probably regret it). I might be convinced to vote for Jon Huntsman (it would be a stretch though). And if they had a chance at making it, I would vote for someone like Perot or Nader (I have in the past). I just can't risk allowing the Tea Party control.

Re:All this shows (2)

castle (6163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665574)

Welcome the New boss, same as the Old boss, only, more "hip".

Re:All this shows (1, Troll)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665620)

Silly question? Why does calling the Tea Party the traitors that they are get me modded down? They held the entire nation hostage and caused harm to us all by intentionally weakening our recovery from the recession under the influence of foreign and international interests like Rupert Murdoch under the guise of patriotism. Sounds like a betrayal to me, and any real Patriot would not tolerate being associated with their filth.

Re:All this shows (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665740)

I thought Murdoch was a US citizen?

Re:All this shows (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665860)

He is (born Australian, naturalized 1985), but is so solely due to the FCC requirement that US television station owners be US citizens. Not a personal history that screams "love of country" for either the US or Australia.

Re:All this shows (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666060)

He's also possibly the only person who was ever naturalized by vote of the Congress. I'm /sure/ that was on the up-and-up.

Re:All this shows (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665902)

He is Australian, and he purchased his US citizenship so that he could own US broadcasting stations in order to affect our politics. But that isn't as important to me as the damage he and others (Koch brothers for example) are doing to MY country. I am mostly pointing it out for the Tea Party members themselves.

Re:All this shows (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665790)

Because "has views different from you" does not mean "traitor"?

There are complete dickbags on both sides. Being dickbags alone does not make them traitors.

Re:All this shows (-1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666014)

Obama has views different from me. I strongly disagree with his 2nd amendment and intellectual property stances among others.

Treason is an act, not a point of view. The Tea Party acted to intentionally damage America, and as Americans that DOES make them traitors.

likes on a FB page.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665468)

dont count because you have to "like" something to post on their wall. I "like" his page, but only in that I have to to go there and argue with their supporters. I dont know how many other people do the same.

Re:likes on a FB page.... (2)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665962)

"Like" is meaningless unless there is a "hate" button.

Re:All this shows (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665686)

Yea, it is pretty much like 2004. We we had to deal the GWB or choose Kerry?
Bush won because we disliked Kerry more.
Now the Obama vs. Republicans. So far most of the GOP doesn't really have a presidential candidate that really sparks anyone's fancy. If I had to pick who should run for the GOP right now I would say Romney has the best chance. However I feel the Tea Party has Poisson the sole for electing a GEO presidential candidate. Just like the Anti-War activists Poisson the sole for Kerry when he ran.

Interesting... (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37664976)

Interesting stuff... seems like a waste, though. Manipulating the masses. Especially the last sentence of the summary, which implies everyone will re-elect Obama and he is already the victor.

Re:Interesting... (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665036)

Yeah, reading the field will only get you so far. It's one thing to propose all sorts of hopes and dreams for your first term, but to be re-elected, you need to actually achieve something with your policies. Make of Obama's record there what you will.

Re:Interesting... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665158)

Or, you need the opposing party to pick a lunatic. With the Tea Party and the religious conservatives in the GOP trying to smash Romney to bits at every opportunity, the possibility that the Republicans may in fact deliver Obama is victory cannot be discounted.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665334)

Of course then there's the possibility that the Tea Party and religious conservatives will pick a lunatic and this lunatic will actually get elected to be President. There is nobody in the current crop of GOP hopefuls that I think I would vote for except perhaps Jon "We Can't Run From Science But Must Embrace It" Huntsman. Sadly, there are a few in there that actively scare me.

Two words: President Bachmann (*runs away screaming in terror*)

Re:Interesting... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665502)

Och aye. Huntsman's the only Republican candidate I'd consider voting for, but unfortunately he's not extreme enough to survive the primary.

Just as unfortunately, there's no way to get someone else to run against Obama in the primaries and win.

Re:Interesting... (-1, Troll)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665374)

Even Romney isn't far enough removed from the Traitor Party for my tastes. I might have been able to accept Jon Huntsman. But he has a snowballs chance in hell of making it through the primary.

Re:Interesting... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665586)

Or, you need the opposing party to pick a lunatic. With the Tea Party and the religious conservatives in the GOP trying to smash Romney to bits at every opportunity, the possibility that the Republicans may in fact deliver Obama is victory cannot be discounted.

Romney wants to add 100k troops to the military. The man is a lunatic too. Most national politicians are these days. They reflect the electorate that votes for them, and America is a country, by and large, that can't get its spending under control, either at home or in W DC.

Re:Interesting... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665424)

You of course understand that "the masses" will ONLY respond to certain stimuli and THEY impose the rules for interacting with them.

Omney or Robama, either way we get a "moderate Republican"....

Have some George Carlin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q [youtube.com]

Community Organizer (1)

BriggsBU (1138021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37664980)

He was a community organizer for how many years? Organizing his supporters is about the only thing he knows how to do.

The Republicans are worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665164)

But all the Republicans are even worse. Between religious "We don't need any of that eddecation except for the Bible" nutcases, "USA! USA!" wackos, and the other crazies who complain all day about government spending but still get the federal government to spend huge money on their OWN interests, there isn't really anyone good out there.

Posting anonymously because most Slashdotters are Republican, are angry, and have mod points.

Re:The Republicans are worse (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665622)

Posting anonymously because most Slashdotters are Republican, are angry, and have mod points.

Most? Hah I doubt it. Definitely enough to mod you into the ground though.

Re:The Republicans are worse (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665656)

Maybe you get modded down because you post idiotic things.

Re:The Republicans are worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666044)

Also posting anonymously because so many mods seem to hate against positive reviews of the President.

Organizing his supporters is about the only thing he knows how to do.

He has accomplished many great things for education, including increasing education funding and directly supporting the STEM subjects. He has increased funding for science and research and for our crumbling education infrastructure (schools). He eliminated Bush's $176 Million annual funding of abstinence-only education and replaced it with a much more reasonable increase to sex-ed funding. He has also directed government agencies to not suppress or alter scientific findings or conclusions.

He has done other positive things and some negative things, but his reversal of America's anti-education and anti-science stance will be his longest lasting success.

Facebook likes don't mean dick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665026)

this isn't going to be a battle of inches. It's going to be a tidal wave. Obama's poll numbers are very very bad and getting worse. It's not hopeless yet, but damn close

News for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665060)

This is the last article on Slashdot I will ever read. News for nerds it is not.

Re:News for nerds (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665762)

Slashdot is essentially dead as a geek/nerd forum (but I'm sure is far more profitable now).

What are some other forums more like what Slashdot once was?

Any why did you post AC? Who gives a fuck?

Neuro Marketing Analaysis/Study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665078)

Recently (like 3 days ago) in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, Neurofocus (neurofocus.com) did a study with EEG caps where they paid people $50 a pop to watch Rick Perry and Barack Obama speeches, among other things, to determine emotional reaction to key words. A good friend of mine did this study for fun and had a lot of interesting things to say about it. Hard to describe succinctly here but it falls right in line with the post. Don't waste a +1 on me, but I do find these studies and analysis interesting to say the least.

I'm not convinced (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665088)

I'm not convinced that Facebook likes translate into election victory yet. When the President is re-elected, it will be because he's still far more charismatic and interesting than any current Republican contenders. I don't like his politics but I like him more than Romney, Perry, et al.

The generation that lives and dies by Facebook still doesn't show up at the polls in significant numbers.

Re:I'm not convinced (2)

elgeeko.com (2472782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665298)

I'm not convinced either. We actually host and manage several political websites for various groups, mostly conservative organizations (We're politically neutral, as long as it isn't inflammatory we'll host just about anything). Many of the member's of these groups will click 'Like' on things they don't really like, just so they can share it with their circle of friends, not because they actually agree with the content of a certain page. I see this all the time in their feeds. I wonder how many of those 23 million 'likes' were done by people trying to share the page and shouldn't be taken as a sign of approval or support.

Re:I'm not convinced (1)

chronoglass (1353185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665922)

truly, until there is an equal and opposing option (IE dislike) "like" can't really mean anything other than "talked about".
and I know i've talked about bad things a whole lot more than good things in my lifetime.

Re:I'm not convinced (3, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665300)

When the President is re-elected, it will be because he's still far more charismatic and interesting than any current Republican contenders. I don't like his politics but I like him more than Romney, Perry, et al.

Are you honestly saying that the Presidential campaign is nothing but a popularity contest which has nothing to do with the merit of their respective political views or actions? I am... totally not shocked, actually. The presidential campaign has become more or less just a popularity contest. Although I'm pretty sure that increasing his appeal to voters is precisely the point of this campaign.

Which is somewhat sad. The only reason data mining like this is useful is if you intend to modify your political basis towards what is popular. In other words, you aren't electing someone based on what their views are, you elect them based on what they think your views are. Frankly, I would rather politicians actually just came out and said what their views are... but apparently, that can't happen anymore. No, politicians will now be elected based on how well they can adapt themselves to what Internet commentators say. That seems to me to be the point of Obama's campaign tools, anyways. Unfortunately, this does not make for good presidential candidates. Good presidents tend to know themselves what needs to be done and do what they think is right, not what the masses think. Because honestly? The masses are idiots, no matter how intelligent they may be individually.

Re:I'm not convinced (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665304)

Would you like to vote for the douche or the turd sandwich? : /

Re:I'm not convinced (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665800)

None of these pieces of shit from either party are "charismatic" unless one has extremely low standards for charisma.

Propaganda 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665098)

Hopefully the same tools used by the government and politicians could also be turned against them by the vigilant people for their freedom and free WILL.

If only decisions were so carefully counted (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665108)

and accountable.

Look at the circular chain of passing the buck on the decision to block the importation of collectible M1 rifles and carbines:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/01/obama-administration-reverses-course-forbids-sale-antique-m-rifles/ [foxnews.com]

Why they can't be transferred to the Civilian Marksmanship Program is inexplicable:

http://www.thecmp.org/ [thecmp.org]

Re:If only decisions were so carefully counted (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665504)

This pisses me off. I am a liberal. I am pro 2nd amendment.

There is nothing special about the Garand. It is an average rifle at best. It wouldn't even fall under the thankfully expired assault weapons ban.

Re:If only decisions were so carefully counted (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665676)

The NRA and GOA need to run with that ball.

How about a good policy? (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665120)

Just throwing it out there.. Maybe that would help some as well.

LOL - literally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665302)

If you think the people who run the business of government are more concerned with justice and progress than lining their own pockets, then you haven't been paying attention for the last 2000 years. Good luck on finding a "leader" who puts you before their own fortune!

Re:How about a good policy? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665360)

What, and make the government responsive to the uneducated masses? I'll bet you're also one of those nutcases that supports Americans getting out on the streets and making their views known, or taking the time to chat with their neighbors about upcoming local elections. A few more like you and the place might turn into some sort of democracy.

And the worst part of that: The people might vote for candidates end up taxing the rich and using the extra cash to hire the unemployed to build highways and the like. And of course one side effect of this is that it would get workers thinking they could demand a minimum wage so that they can survive on a 40-hour work week. Any moves in that direction would quite obviously lead to socialism!

Re:How about a good policy? (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665764)

I could care less if thier out on the streets making thier views known. Corporations bad! Wallstreet bad! Walking around with iPads that were made by one of America's largest corps, who was created by a Wallstreet IPO. I WANT those protesters out there, I think it's a hoot. "Demand a minimum wage"? Hopefully all the police and firefighters don't *demand* more than we can afford.. Unions represent less than 10% of the work force, hardly represent the other 90% of the working folks. I'm okay with raising taxes on the "rich". Tell me how much of every dollar the rich earn, they get to keep. I WANT A NUMBER DAMNIT, not just a theory. Give me a real number. That's always bugged me about people who say "tax the rich more", but have notta clue how much they already pay, or how much they should pay...

Scraping Facebook data - ingenious in a scary way (1)

Quick Reply (688867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665144)

First I thought that going by the "Likes" would be skewed by International users who like Barack Obama, but if you scrape the User Data, and discard everyone who do not have "United States" in their profile (as their 'like's don't count as they don't get to vote), there is a higher degree of confidence in that data.

The data collectors will also have to do some community surveys to see which demographics actually use Facebook for 'liking' their political candidates because some communities are more "connected" than others and they will need to adjust accordingly. eg: If only one republican for every two democrats are likely to put a like on Facebook, then the republican likes get more weight.

Pretty scary stuff what can be worked out from scraping Facebook data. This is the sort of uses that Privacy Experts have been warning about. One person who thinks it's 'Cool' to like Barack Obama on Facebook is someone else's campaign data.

Re:Scraping Facebook data - ingenious in a scary w (1)

Quick Reply (688867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665220)

Or it could be 2:1 Republicans connected to Democrats, I'm not saying that the republican supporters are less connected than democrats, it was just an example!

Karl Rove (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665190)

That's what Karl Rove did for decades. There's a classic picture of Karl Rove with a 12" reel of computer tape. He was able to turn demographic and polling data into information on how, when, and where to tell people what they wanted to hear.

Someone didn't do enough data collection... (4, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665206)

Disclaimer: I am NOT choosing sides in this post.

The notion that the Obama team is the only one in the prospective 2012 race to understand data mining and acting on numbers is pretty shallow. Rick Perry has a well documented (and apparently very well run) data mining team that he has used in the past and would no doubt use again in a presidential bid... More info here: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/rick-perrys-scientific-campaign-method/ [nytimes.com] and here: http://www.thevictorylab.com/ [thevictorylab.com] and in this E-book: http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Perry-His-Eggheads-ebook/dp/B005HE8ED4 [amazon.com]

Re:Someone didn't do enough data collection... (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665226)

Not to mention that apparently, according to some Republican supporters, he's got God on his side.

Re:Someone didn't do enough data collection... (2)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665420)

I've lived in Texas all my life and I can tell you this Rick Perry is not someone you want to be president. At best you can call him a snake oil salesmen at worst he's a delusional sociopath who doesn't live in the same reality as the rest of us.

Re:Someone didn't do enough data collection... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665526)

But he's killed over two hundred people, some of whom were probably even guilty. How can that man /not/ be a good President? /sarcasm

Re:Someone didn't do enough data collection... (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666026)

He also wants to get rid of the biggest ponzi scheme of all! Social Security.

Great, election by Facebook (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665234)

Can this farce of a political system get any worse?

Re:Great, election by Facebook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665354)

Yes, Obama could be re-elected...

Re:Great, election by Facebook (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665408)

Can this farce of a political system get any worse?

Oh Yeah, election by /. poll:

1) Bachmann/Palin
2) Obama/whoever the VP is today
3) Ron Paul write in
4) Cowboy Neal
5) Goatse man, because he understands what the financial industry is doing to America

Re:Great, election by Facebook (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665716)

For once Cowboy Neal isn't the joke vote!

Re:Great, election by Facebook (2)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666108)

And neither is the Goatse man.

Re:Great, election by Facebook (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665416)

Please, don't ask. I have a high degree of confidence that not only can it, it probably will.

Re:Great, election by Facebook (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665710)

Um, yes?

Not Necessarily True (5, Informative)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665260)

Rick Perry's campaign, for instance, is well-known for using social-science methods to rigorously test various campaign tools [nytimes.com] , including controlled experiments on what actually worked and what didn't.

As, as long as we're talking about Perry, you know that "Perry cut firefighters budgets" story that went around a month ago? It's not true. [battleswarmblog.com] The Texas legislature authorized, and Perry signed, an 80% increase in wildfire fighting and prevention funding for the 2012-2013 biennium.

Re:Not Necessarily True (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665914)

Texas Republicans wanted to cut the firefighting budget before they moved to increase it.
Even your own article acknowledges that the original budget had big cuts.

It was a bit embarrassing that they wanted to slash budgets while the State was burning.

He can crunch all the data he wants to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665296)

...but he will still not get re-elected.

The best votes Wall Street money can buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665320)

Obama attacks banks while raking in Wall Street dough [dailycaller.com]

Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters.

HOPENCHANGE!!!!!

Like? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665336)

How do you know if a candidate is "liked" or "+1" because they'll vote for them in the election, or because they'll be easy to beat?

The Dali Lama has "recently" joined G+ and I've circled and +1'd him, because he is one of the very few "world leaders" I actually respect. That is an entirely different relationship from me +1'ing Palin because I think she is the most easy to beat out of the R field; +1 for being a humorous caricature in her field.

I suppose you could analyze my other +1s to figure out I don't want to throw my vote away on a D or R, and I'm gonna vote straight LP (unless RP is somehow on the ballot for the R in which case I'd hold my nose only a little tiny bit and vote for him). So maybe that data would show LP supporters think the best way for the R to lose is to put up Palin (or her cronies), or if they want LP supporters maybe they need a party plank that if they win RP will be the next (last?) chairman of the Fed. That might be actionable data, might not.

Re:Like? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665592)

I know of at least one person who will "like" politicians on Facebook for the sole purpose of flaming them.

Re:Like? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665792)

We hurt the ones we like the most.

Facebook likes are not enough (4, Insightful)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665384)

Now, if he hadn't spent the last 2.5 years largely doing exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on, angering his base to no end, he might be able to make better use of all of that data management. No amount of carefully worded campaign e-mails are going to convince me to vote for a President who has normalized extra-judicial assassinations of American citizens by the CIA.

A referendum on extremism or a loyalty test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665396)

With OWS now standing up as the leftist version of the TEA party, there are people speculating that if Romney wins the GOP nomination there could be 4 major candidates in 2012: Romney, Obama, TEA nutjob, OWS nutjob.

Americans on both sides of the aisle will be faced with hard and soft versions of what they like. We may talk hard; but when it comes to actually putting somebody in charge I think most of us prefer soft.

Since the "hard" candidates would be most likely be breakaways from the major parties, party loyalty will be tested.

That's my crazy ass prediction. It's as good as anybody elses.

Re:A referendum on extremism or a loyalty test (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665714)

Looking at the way the country has been run, it's more like this: Democrat nutjob, GOP nutjob, Tea Party candidate, OWS candidate. The ONLY truly nutty position is that the major parties can get us out of the mess they created.

Interesting replies considering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665404)

Interesting replies considering nobody posting them has the slightest clue. Think back to the last time this country had a serious recession, gas prices through the roof (even rationing) and unemployment issues very similar to now. What happened? We elected Ronald Reagan. His first order of biz was to cut government spending. Yes, CUT spending. Guess what, it worked. You still want to vote for the poor excuse for a turd we have in the White House now ? Jeeze, he is a complete and utter failure, unless the devaluation of this country is what your agenda is, then absolutely, he is a resounding success. I say it's time to stop the little experiment and throw this clown out on his ass and elect someone who might actually have something more concrete than "Change" Funny, he did that right come to think of it... All anyone has now from their paycheck or retirement account now is a little "change".

Re:Interesting replies considering (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665820)

I'm not sure what alternate reality you live in, but in the one we live in, Reagan ballooned the debt.

He did? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666056)

His first order of biz was to cut government spending.

Look, I can be some what pro-republican. (IE that U-2 story about Bush? To me it was fairly obvious that story was made up and didn't actually happen.) Anyway I don't know where you got your data but I just checked Wikipedia on it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_budget#Federal_budget_data [wikipedia.org] Let's see, spending went up under Reagan. Ok, if you compare against GDP it went down from 83 to 84 and again from 85 through the rest of his term. However the first order of business definitely wasn't to cut spending and overall spending went up. Of course I'm posting anonymous because you know the Slashdot moderators, say anything not derogatory toward W and they basically froth at the mouth.

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665464)

Not surprising seeing that Republicans don't believe in Science. They just need faith to get the votes.

Slashdot Special Memo #45663 +5, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665484)

Another Slashvertisement for CLOSED SORES software to help Obama bin Baden.

Yours In Marxism,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

As an Australian... (0, Troll)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665524)

Obama's performance has been pretty lackluster. So much for Hope and Change, huh?

But the modern Republican party and the Tea Party (who are basically the Totalitarian Christian Theocracy party these days) scare the fucking shit out of me. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE EVEN CONSIDER VOTING FOR THEM!?

Whatever Obama's flaws, he's *gotta* be better than someone who literally prays for rain while denying climate change [wikipedia.org] , or someone who believes gay marriage is the #1 issue to affect America in the next 30 years [wikipedia.org] , or someone who was so homophobic that the gay community named a mixture of semen and faeces, a by-product of improperly performed anal sex, after him [rationalwiki.org] .

How does this... how is... I don't even...

Re:As an Australian... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665806)

Obama's performance has been pretty lackluster. So much for Hope and Change, huh?

But the modern Republican party and the Tea Party (who are basically the Totalitarian Christian Theocracy party these days) scare the fucking shit out of me. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE EVEN CONSIDER VOTING FOR THEM!?

Whatever Obama's flaws, he's *gotta* be better than someone who literally prays for rain while denying climate change [wikipedia.org] , or someone who believes gay marriage is the #1 issue to affect America in the next 30 years [wikipedia.org] , or someone who was so homophobic that the gay community named a mixture of semen and faeces, a by-product of improperly performed anal sex, after him [rationalwiki.org] .

How does this... how is... I don't even...

Just where do you get your news, anyway?

And FWIW, it's pretty much impossible to be WORSE than someone who:

1. Campaigns on the premise that $200 billion deficits per year are unsustainable
2. When elected, runs $2 TRILLION deficits.

Yep - the Obama MONTHLY budget deficits (which in truth began when Democrats took control of the US House of Representatives - where all spending bills must originate...) exceed the YEARLY deficits under George W. Bush - which Senator Obama called "unsustainable".

That's Greek-style government. It's impossible to be WORSE than that.

Barack Obama: when he reaches rock-bottom and has to stop digging - HE'LL START BLASTING.

Gonna be hilarious to see Baracky's "they all RAAACISTS!!!!" meme crash-and-burn with Herman Cain on the Republican side....

Incompetent IT management loses elections, too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665564)

I used to (rather recently) work as a software developer for a company that sold IT data services exclusively to Republican campaigns. The company was owned by some nationally-known Republican activists. The rank-and-file within the company did not necessarily care about politics, but the management mostly did.

The company easily could have developed and offered this kind of data services to its customers. The IT talent was there, and the developers has a rather good idea of how things could be done. The problem was that the management simply would not listen to the developers. All we seemed to get done was to have idea after idea shot down because the estimated hours were too high (even though most of the developers were full-time, so it's not like most of the expenditures were on contractor hours). Pretty much any estimate that came in over 80 hours of development time for any feature meant that the feature got shot down. We would keep asking management what they wanted the products to look like by the 2011 election season and by the 2012 election season, and there was just no clear vision at all. Also, even though top management had budgeted for more developer help, the company wasn't willing to do what it took to get competent developers in the door, so we had at least one open developer position most of the time I was there. We would have candidate after candidate come in from the same recruiter (because of some pre-existing relationship with IT management), supposedly with the skills we needed, but realistically who couldn't code their way out of a paper bag when we gave them a very basic test to complete.

The stupid hour estimates got so pervasive that management implemented a bonus plan that rewarded meeting your own estimates. So, basically, it just rewarded whomever could come up with the highest estimate while keeping a straight face. It also helped the process of driving morale into the ground. Anyone who stayed did so because of external circumstances keeping them in the job.

Note that we weren't billing hourly for (most of) these projects. They were part of a subscription product being sold.

Extreme cheapness -- to the point of neglecting the mission of the company -- plus managerial incompetence really hurt the Republican cause. I'm fine with that as a citizen, but it's really demoralizing to see what a product could be and not be able to implement it.

Nearly the perfect slashdot post: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665624)

It's got computers. It's got Democrats. It's got Republicans. It's got Facebook and datamining. It's got high priced consultants of dubious worth.

What else does it need?

Now we just have to figure out how there can be huge flame ridden disagreements about it.

Oh wait. It's already started.

And yet (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665634)

And yet, the streets are full of protesters. If anything, people today have less hope than they did in 2008. Nothing changed, and he's going to have to run on that record.

At this point it's abundantly clear that if you vote for either major party, you are throwing your vote away. Vote third party or stay home.

Not a good plan. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665990)

If you vote for a third party, all you're doing is making it more likely that the candidate who is closest to your views will lose.

At least it will be that way with the current voting system in most states.

FIRST you have to change the voting rules so that a candidate you want to endorse has a chance of actually winning the election.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Voting_system [wikimedia.org]

Start locally by improving the voting system in your district / state.

Wow! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665654)

He has a Facebook page! That is just absofuckinglutely bleeding edge, there, baby!

I look forward to our precise and data analyzed to death future! Yay!

um (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665934)

Because facebook "Likes" is a good polling mechanic... especially when those likes could have been bade 4 years ago, the people may not remember "liking it" or even log into their facebook account anymore.
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