Defying All Odds to Re-elect President Obama
Ahead of the 2012 campaign, President Obama faced a tough re-election challenge — and his team needed to rewrite the playbook to win.
In November of 2011, The New York Times ran a cover story titled “Is Obama Toast?” No president had been re-elected with a less than 50% job approval rating — President Obama was polling in the low 40s. The President’s team needed to figure out how to defy conventional wisdom. To do this, they couldn’t just run the 2008 playbook in 2012 — this campaign had to be more targeted, disciplined, and organized. Not to mention, they had to win.
Precision co-founders Stephanie Cutter, Jen O’Malley Dillon, and Teddy Goff led the President’s re-election team to victory by running the most sophisticated, data-driven presidential campaign in history. The campaign focused on four key pillars: 1) define the race early; 2) revolutionize the way campaigns communicate with voters, the media, and supporters; 3) invent new ways to collect and capitalize on data, taking unpredictability out of vote scenarios; and 4) run the largest field organization in history. According to TIME Magazine, “the goals were the same as ever: more money in the bank, more door knocks, more phone calls, more voter registrations, and more voters at the polls. But the methods for achieving those ends in 2012 bordered on the revolutionary.”
President Obama won re-election, defying history and setting a course for our future as a nation. We secured 62,611,250 votes, trained 2.2 million volunteers, and registered 2.9 million voters. The campaign raised $690 million online, grew the President’s Facebook and Twitter audiences to more than 45 and 33 million people respectively, and successfully communicated a research-driven, disciplined message to tens of millions of undecided voters through paid, earned, and social media. Long story short, we won.
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