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GOP Playing Tech Catch-Up in Mid-Terms


The Democrats edge  in data collection and technology, especially in national elections, isn’t much of a secret these days. Now, the GOP is using the 2014 mid-terms to begin playing catch up. One has to wonder where the genius of GOP operators like Karl Rove and company actually rests given how far behind they allowed the party to fall in the first place.

Dustin Brewster’s door-knocking journey across a Baton Rouge neighborhood zigged — then zagged.

After each home, he looked down at his phone, found his next target and approached another, armed with a list of questions and a pocketful of placards promoting Republican Bill Cassidy’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

At roughly 1 out of 3 homes he visits, a door opens.

“I’m here with the Louisiana Republican Party. We’re just going door to door, trying to gauge support for the midterms,” the 21-year-old recent college graduate begins.

Better later than never sounds fine. Unfortunately, later takes on a new meaning when you consider the Democrats and Barack Obama used their advantage to win two national elections while the GOP slept.

Brewster is not merely a GOP supporter, and his path on this recent day was not random. He is a foot soldier in the Republican Party’s national drive to catch up to the Democrats’ data collection know-how that helped power President Barack Obama to two terms in the White House.

This year, with every House seat and control of the Senate at stake, the party is depending on paid interns like Brewster and other party faithful to help the GOP close the technology gap. An app on his phone pointed the way to homes of Republicans who don’t always vote in midterm elections, or non-Republicans who might be swayed to vote for GOP candidates.

“Do you have some time to answer a few questions?” Brewster asks during a recent two-hour tour, hoping to get answers he can feed into his phone, which will then upload to a central database.


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