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Dec

20


2012

Going Inside the Cave

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 presidential campaign – like any campaign – two things happened: the winners went to bragging and the losers started pointing fingers. One thing became clear. Obama for America’s digital, technology, and analytics teams were indispensable in securing the president’s reelection.

OFA was, far and away, the most sophisticated political organization on the planet. And Republicans needed to learn from them. So we set about gathering insights, data, and anecdotes from hundreds of news articles, blog posts, interviews, podcasts, and presentations. Our findings have been collected and organized into a single slide deck called Inside the Cave, which you can download here.

The Cave is what OFA called the windowless room that housed their analytics team. Like digital in 2008, analytics came of age in the 2012 campaign. OFA’s analytics team had 50 staffers. By comparison, the Romney-Ryan campaign had a data team of 4 people.

Veterans of OFA have been surprisingly forthcoming in providing details on how they leveraged the latest in technology and digital strategy to make their campaign as effective and efficient as possible.

In 2016, Republicans can’t afford to fight the battles of 2012. We have to look forward to the future and start preparing now.

Inside the Cave is required studying for anyone involved in electoral politics. Download it now.

  • The Battle For The Soul Of The Republican Party - 54° 40′ Or Fight!

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    […] the post mortems after the 2012 election – specifically the 100 page report by Patrick Ruffini, Inside the Cave. It made me think about the current state of the Right’s campaign strategy, and the sad […]

  • 2013-09-20 14:00:00

    Republicans also need to grasp the reality that the Democrats aren't really trying to convince the "Moderates"- they're doing their own thing. Attempting to sway them along with this failing is what cost them 2012.

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  • Gene Schwimmer

    2013-03-15 04:51:00

    Very helpful to us Republicans to show that technology can trump ideas - we had all of the latter, but the Democrats had much more of the former. Next time, thanks to up-and-comers such as Cruz and Rubio, we will have both.

  • From ‘Moneyball’ to Money Bombs: What Sports Analytics Can Teach Political … | Old Click

    2013-03-09 06:48:25

    [...] with a lowest-performing theme line, it would have lifted $2.2 million less, according to “Inside a Cave,” a minute news from Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini and a group during [...]

  • From ‘Moneyball’ to Money Bombs: What Sports Analytics Can Teach Political … - Rise of the Right

    2013-03-09 02:11:50

    [...] the lowest-performing subject line, it would have raised $2.2 million less, according to “Inside the Cave,” a detailed report from Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini and the team at [...]

  • From ‘Moneyball’ to Money Bombs: What Sports Analytics Can Teach Political … – The Atlantic | World Enews

    2013-03-08 18:19:17

    [...] the lowest-performing subject line, it would have raised $2.2 million less, according to “Inside the Cave,” a detailed report from Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini and the team at [...]

  • Invest in Digital Marketing to Control Your Destiny by Michael Schrage | 8:00 AM January 23, 2013 | Siddhartha Kamisetti Investing

    2013-02-05 17:39:45

    [...] far the best synthesis and summary of the digital keys to the campaign’s success is Engage DC’s Inside the Cave. I’ve seldom read a briefing so artfully — and accessibly — capturing the critical [...]

  • Invest in Digital Marketing to Control Your Destiny | Mike Bitter

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    [...] far the best synthesis and summary of the digital keys to the campaign’s success is Engage DC’s Inside the Cave. I’ve seldom read a briefing so artfully — and accessibly — capturing the critical [...]

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    2013-01-26 15:36:10

    [...] far the best synthesis and summary of the digital keys to the campaign’s success is Engage DC’s Inside the Cave. I’ve seldom read a briefing so artfully — and accessibly — capturing the critical [...]

  • Invest in Digital Marketing to Control Your Destiny | iTAX – tax news

    2013-01-23 20:53:17

    [...] far the best synthesis and summary of the digital keys to the campaign’s success is Engage DC’s Inside the Cave. I’ve seldom read a briefing so artfully — and accessibly — capturing the [...]

  • Learning from Obama’s Campaign Victory « Commentary Magazine

    2013-01-21 11:00:43

    [...] GOP candidate wouldn’t find themselves so outgunned in future campaigns. In one large report, Going Inside the Cave, Ruffini’s team analyzed the organization, strategy and implementation of OFA’s [...]

  • Report: Internal analytics gave Obama campaign edge over Romney campaign | POTUS NEWS

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    [...] the Obama campaign’s technology strategy, GOP strategist and Engage President Patrick Ruffini explained in a company blog post that the firm “set about gathering insights, data, and anecdotes from [...]

  • Report: Internal analytics gave Obama campaign edge over Romney campaign | Irascible Musings

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    [...] the Obama campaign’s technology strategy, GOP strategist and Engage President Patrick Ruffini explained in a company blog post that the firm “set about gathering insights, data, and anecdotes from [...]

  • Kristine

    2013-01-03 00:31:00

    very illuminating - thnx for sharing!

  • Call of the wild « Bend it!

    2013-01-01 23:06:29

    [...] -Oder es nicht mehr so genau wissen will, natürlich. Beasts of Urban Den zur Folie gehörenden, recht interessanten Vortrag über Obamas Wahlkampf gibt es hier, gefunden vom Herrn Kollegen EMM. Die Powerpoint-Blätter machen gründlich klar, warum in Zukunft [...]

  • Call of the wild « Bend it!

    2013-01-01 22:56:00

    [...] ganzen, recht interessanten Vortrag gibt es hier, gefunden vom Herrn Kollegen EMM. Die Powerpoint-Blätter machen gründlich klar, warum in Zukunft [...]

  • TechFTW

    2012-12-23 04:01:00

    Thanks - a great and in-depth slide deck. Very fitting that the side that believes in science and technology made the best use of it.

  • Porter

    2012-12-22 22:06:00

    Thank you for making this. It will be very helpful. We should put that kind of effort and technology to work for advancing civilization and liberty, not for enslavement.