Friday, May 20, 2016

Trump's Disparagement Of Data Worries GOP

Donald Trump says he plans to win the White House largely on the strength of his personality, brushing off the need for a heavy investment in what he calls the "overrated" use of data to shape campaign strategy and get out the vote.
Should he hold to that approach, which he outlined last week in an interview with The Associated Press, Trump will flout all conventions of what it takes to win a modern presidential campaign.
By doing so, critics in both parties argue, he'd give up what could be a strategic advantage over Hillary Clinton, his expected Democratic opponent.
... In his AP interview, Trump discounted the value of data: The "candidate is by far the most important thing," he said. He said he plans a "limited" use of data in his general election campaign and suggested Obama's victories — universally viewed by political professionals as groundbreaking in the way data steered the campaign to voters — are misunderstood.
"Obama got the votes much more so than his data processing machine, and I think the same is true with me," Trump said, explaining that he will continue to focus on his signature rallies, free television exposure and his personal social media accounts to win voters over.
Buzz Jacobs, who was on the losing end of Obama's success in 2008 as an aide to GOP nominee John McCain, said Trump oversimplifies the president's victories.
"We lost in large part because Obama's ability to use data was so much better than ours," Jacobs said. ...
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