For those searching for an explanation for why Mitt Romney did not win the presidential election on Tuesday, at least part of the blame can be placed on the GOP candidate’s top-secret ORCA project, aimed at getting out the vote, which became a massive organizational failure.
The project was meant to be an answer to the Obama campaign’s Get Out The Vote initiative, but instead it resulted in a lower Republican turnout than John McCain received in 2008, reports Business Insider.
The ORCA program was an expensive technological undertaking that was created to provide the campaign with real-time poll monitoring, allowing Republicans to target GOTV efforts on Election Day.
Despite the fact tha,t in the week running up to the election, Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul called ORCA “the Republican Party’s newest, most technologically advanced plan to win the election,” the project appears to have yielded dismal results.
A mass of technology programs instead made the app unusable, leaving Republican volunteers “wandering around confused and frustrated” last Tuesday, according to Romney poll-watcher John Ekdahl.
Ekdahl also stated that the Mitt Romney campaign also railed to provide poll-watching volunteers in Jacksonville, Florida (a key Republican city in a major swing state) with the proper credentials and accurate voter strike lists. Even if the ORCA app had worked, this failure alone may have cost the campaign thousands of votes.
Yahoo! News notes that several sources close to the Republican’s campaign stated that the technological undertaking failed at nearly every level. The ORCA app was created by a small, isolated tech team and wasn’t beta-tested properly. It also wasn’t revealed to the rest of the campaign (including the digital team) until the week of the election.
One Republican communications strategist close to the Mitt Romney campaign stated that most people on the campaign “weren’t that surprised” by ORCA’s failure. The strategist added:
“They wouldn’t let anyone outside of Romney political circle in on it until basically November 6. The digital strategy was so incomprehensible — they were playing Super Nintendo while Obama’s people had PS3.”
It appears that the ORCA project, along with a lack of organization in the closing weeks, were at least partially to blame for Mitt Romney’s failure to become the President of the United States.