• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Liberal Stealth Groups Paved Obama Win

    More than 4 million people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 did not vote this year. But by applying new voter science, Obama nudged enough replacements in key states — many who were rare or first-time voters — to give him his margin of victory (leveraged even larger by the Electoral College).

    Years of stealthy multimillion-dollar efforts paid off forAmerica’s left in the 2008 and 2012 victories by President Barack Obama. Using new voter science to get rare and first-time voters to go to the polls, the races have changedAmerica’s electorate — those who make the country’s decisions by showing up and voting.

    Aided by $5 million minimum from George Soros, plus millions more from others, at least two secretive institutions were created to enable this effort by focused research on behavioral science. Their results are made available only to liberals and their causes.

    Those are findings from writer Sasha Issenberg. In an interview with me on my “Istook Live!” radio program, Issenberg put a special spotlight on the Analyst Institute (AI), which he has called “a firm quietly founded in 2007 by AFL-CIO officials and liberal allies.”

    The AI has been quietly stacked with behavioral scientists, mostly PhDs or PhD candidates from Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale,Princeton, andDartmouth(with Notre Dame andUniversityofChicagothrown in for good measure). They coordinate with market researchers for various commercial products. AI materials brag that the Institute supports “a community of 400 data analysts and related professionals in collaborating and sharing their findings through monthly Analyst Group meetings and retreats.”

    Issenberg’s book The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns details more history, as do his articles written for Salon.com.

    As Issenberg told me, “The big leap in the last five or six years has come from Democrats looking to commercial markets. Campaigns are able to see in the real world what is pushing voters to change their behavior.” He says this has reversed the advantage that Republicans had enjoyed after 2004 when they began using micro-targeting to categorize voters.

    The progressive cause’s analysts look for “sweet spots in the electorate,” gathering as many as 1,000 points of data on each voter, far more than in most surveys.

    Although not made public, the findings are shared with the other special organization that Issenberg explains was created to apply the research. This is Catalist, headed by longtime Democrat operative Harold Ickes, a former deputy chief of staff in the Bill Clinton White House.

    Catalist’s website describes its mission: “To provide progressive organizations with the data and services needed to better identify, understand, and communicate with the people they need to persuade and mobilize.”

    Their website, www.catalist.us, identifies 237 clients, including more than 50 Members of Congress, Planned Parenthood, Rock the Vote, the Democratic Governors Association, AFL-CIO, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, Emily’s List, Sierra Club, Families USA—basically the entire inner circle of the Left.

    Catalist helps its clients to apply the research done by the Analyst Institute. For example, one basic finding was that door-to-door contact far exceeds the success from any other form of communicating with voters. That led to the Obama campaign’s intensive focus on that approach. But there was plenty more to apply.

    Issenberg told the radio audience:

    The Obama campaign wrote a $22,000 check every month to the Analyst Institute; it looked like a consulting contract the same way they would pay a media consultant to make their ads. The Analyst Institute was consulting with them on how to run experiments and had a full-time staff member stationed in Chicago…So it serves all the sort of functions and the intellectual culture of the left of a think tank but has all the secrecy that a consulting firm would…They don’t have to actually show who their investors are or any sort of audit.

    AI also makes available to progressive groups what its documents describe as “memos summarizing hundreds of experiments on topics including GOTV [Get Out the Vote],…persuasion, identifying persuadable voters, and preventing long lines on Election Day.”

    In 2008, AI reported it had “partnered with dozens of organizations to execute 44 large-scale field experiments. Topics included which voters are ‘persuadable,’ [and] how behavioral science insights can be translated into voter contact tactics.”

    AI listed its 2009 and 2010 priorities as research that included:

    • What Are The Predictors Of Persuadability?
    • Increase The Use Of Impact?Based Communications.
    •  Which Advocacy Tactics Are Most Effective?
    •  How Can We Best Use Social Networking Technology?
    •  How Can We Effectively Engage Surge Voters?
    •  Can We Experimentally, And Quickly, Test The Impact Of Television Ads?
    •  Enhance Skills Of The Progressive Data Community.

    According to Issenberg, the funding to develop this research capability came from liberal donors unhappy with the money they “wasted” in 2004 in efforts to defeat George W. Bush by funneling a fortune through 527 groups.

    Issenberg told the audience that these donors included the deep-pocketed billionaire George Soros, “and they felt—how Crossroads and Restore Our Future donors may be feeling now—that their money was wasted; and they started focusing not on making big contributions to win a single election but to institution-building. And so they’ve spent years of investing; it’s hard to put a price on what it adds up to but now those institutions are basically paying for themselves…They want to make Democrats better at winning elections.”

    Those multimillion-dollar investments have provided an edge to the Obama campaign in how to persuade and turn out voters. Since 2008, according to Issenberg, the GOP has marked time rather than catching up, in part because “the chairmanship of the RNC changed three times in the last four years.”

    While Democrats enjoined four years of unity and a known incumbent candidate, “Mitt Romney had to fight a primary. The best-case scenario is that he would have only six or nine months to sort of rev up. I’m not convinced that they took great advantage of those six or nine months.”

    As Issenberg writes in The Victory Lab, the work of Analyst Institute has “upended much of what the political world thought it knew about how voters’ minds work, and dramatically changed the way that campaigns approach, cajole, and manipulate them.“

    Applying that research is no guarantee of winning, “but experimental insights could decide close races—by nudging turnout up two points here, six points there.”

    Those nudges added up to give Obama his margin of victory.

    This post originally appeared on Newsmax.com.

    Tune in to Istook Live! online every weekday, 9 a.m.-noon ET. 

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to Liberal Stealth Groups Paved Obama Win

    1. cmdorsey says:

      Ya go to moveon.org – fieldworks.com and see the Bragging going on. Not to mention the behind closed doors meetings they had with Obama. Harry Reid won in 2010 because Obama gave our $$ to his campaign under the cover of a GREEN COMPANY. The WH oversight committee has been investigating ACORN and campaign finance fraud since 2009 up through Oct. 2012. I have the pdf files downloaded on my computer. Another 'client' or 'partner' of fieldworks.com is the National Education Association among a list of probably 150-200 others. It's disgusting. Sick. And they have now made filthy our sacred right to vote. George Soros should be in prison for war crimes instead of sucking all the wealth out of our economy.

      • Duane says:

        The real culprit in this miscarriage of election are the mainstream "news Media". These so called news sources have done the equivalent of billions of dollars of spin for Obama. This has been done through selective editing or selective mixing of "quotes" that were not only taken out of context but also put in a disingenuous order to say the exact opposite of what was said. I don't know what can be done about the way the media goes about thier propaganda tactics but maybe a conglomerate of the rich could get to gather and buy at least one of the major networks and give us a 2nd Fox.

    2. BJBurrow says:

      Too bad this does not put the "BEST" candidate forward==just gives more votes for a certain person and each voter has not really voted their choice….

      • Jacqueline says:

        American voters are so naive to think that they actually elect the candidate for presidency of the US. The truth is that the decision is made behind the scenes and we are duped to go through the motions thinking that our vote counts. I have given up voting in this corrupt society until the ruling class is indicted for their underhanded, fraudulent actions.

    3. Tim says:

      Maybe next time we won't run a 65 year old, rich big government liberal Republican, and we can win.

      • lumpy says:

        Agreed, first you need a viable candidate. Picking the most liberal republican is not a winner. Debates showed no real difference between candidates. A real turn off.

        • Maxwell Jump says:

          So, they allow a loud and proud, card carrying member of the rich, big government, international left, failure by all standards, Democrat get re-elected because the Republican is a liberal Reublican. Okay, if you say so. Those "Republicans" who didn't vote probably didn't vote because he was a Mormon, or just not perfect enough for their precious vote.

    4. Bobbie says:

      This is just deplorable. What America is forced to deal with these crooks in and out of office who won't stand as decent people and who do stand without principle. Everybody should have high suspicions of why this country is going the way it is. FORCE! With all Obama's cronies helping out!!!!!

      America has been lowered by the free will and hatred people in high places have for her. Constituents, "Oh we don't have to follow the laws equally applied to all that sustains the economy. We follow democrats who doesn't see us equally capable and protects us from our irresponsibilities so we don't have to stand accountable just like our hero!! All financial troubles we cause is what dems uses tax payers to cover. Simple. There's no reason WE should have to compromise our narcissism or the presidents/democrats nepotism to contribute to America. Obama told us so!!! and we admire a man without principle. We didn't learn any other way! He's so intelligent he only needs one answer to clean up all the financial mess he intentionally causes. He doesn't want us to think we should have the mentality to take on responsibility like everyone else in America. Especially the responsibilities of the rich. We shouldn't have to think on our own about the American dream we have that isn't given to us by our government!!! Government will give me the opportunity to live free which isn't free when it's government control but I don't know that."

      People prove themselves wiser in this country then the indoctrinated mentality of Obama and his democrats.

      Wonder if the lowly in office are able to house their favorites in certain districts while padding their mortgage with tax payers money? Impeach the impostors!!!!! After Obama claimed to convert to catholicism and since claimed "America is not a Christian nation anymore" is when Obama's government stopped holding people and government accountable. He has destroyed America's government!! Sorry if Christianity intimidates you to think you can't have a principled content of character unless you're Christian? What intolerant low life fools who are the greatest deceivers of America's time.

      We all know the only thing Jesus and satan have in common. They both come in all skin colors so when anyone sounds off satan has a specific skin color, know that those are satan's helpers! Remove these dishonorable degenerates. America doesn't lower herself to personal weaknesses! America builds personal strength by freedom to self govern and fulfilling the responsibility that one's livelihood and decisions brings on. Democrats constituents are so drowned out by the condescension democrats flood their minds with they have no idea they're worth honorable leadership with dignity and integrity.

    5. CalCon10 says:

      And once again, the GOP is left in the dust.

      Why isn't our side doing this?

      I'm beginning to think they want to lose. Maybe it's time to sell our souls to the Dark Side, just so we can be winners once in awhile.

    6. Larsele says:

      …the article should have also given credit to a decision edge provided by good old election fraud.

    7. JamesB says:

      That the GOP lost this election is very true and it was theirs to lose, but what's lost in the noise is the HOW of Obama's win. How did he pull victory from the jaws of defeat?

      It was a big win election for Republicans, with the gains in 2010 not only successfully defended but most were expanded on in the House and at the state levels. So with that many conservative voters, just how did Obama pull out a squeaker win when it seems contrary to all the other election results for 2012?

      He won due to what I've dubbed the 'social voter'.

      Every election has voters who stay home or vote for third party candidates. This occurs in every election, and 2012 was no different with less turnout and many votes going to the Libertarian candidate.

      So what WAS different this election? The 'social voter'!

      So let me explain who or what the 'social voter' is and why this is what tipped the scales in Obama's favor (that tiny bit that put him over the top).

      When polling services post results of their polls they often times label the people polled as 'likely voters', because in any election you see only 1/3rd to 2/3rds of eligible voters turn out to vote (how many is almost always tied to the issues, such as gay marriage or taxes, etc). 'Likely voters' are usually how many out of that 1/3rd to 2/3rds of voters might actually turn out that election.

      Then there's always a least 1/3rd of the electorate that simply do not vote at all, period. They simply have no political life and do not pay attention to politics.

      The 'social voter' would not be a part of the 'likely voter' group, they would be part of the group you could label as 'unlikely voters' and specifically fall into that 1/3rd of the electorate that *never* votes (the 'non-voter').

      While voters who stay home or vote for third party candidates are usually accounted for in campaign analysis, election models ignore that final 1/3rd of non-voters because they usually have zero impact on an election. An important enough statement to repeat, non-voters are never factored into a political race as they have no real impact on the outcome…

      The normal way to win an election is to turn the 'unlikely voter'/'non-voter' into a 'likely voter', but in Election 2012 the final 1/3rd 'non-voters' were mobilized in large numbers by being turned into 'social voters', which was done by giving them a reason to vote that isn't related to the issues they have no interest in.

      The 'social voter' isn't an uninformed voter as traditionally understood, the 'social voter' is a non-voter that votes anyways, he's voting to keep his idol on the island or on the dance floor…

      Now imagine that your base is bummed out and instead of getting the 2/3rds of your base out to vote, you can only count on 1/3rd to 1/2 of them to show up at the polls. But the opposition is more excited and is likely to have at least 1/2 of their base or more show up and kick your butt.

      What if you could tap into that 1/3rd of non-voters by hobnobbing with stars like Beyoncé or Jon Stewart, voters that nobody is expecting to show up at all, to fill the gap and win the election for you?

      That's exactly what happened here, Obama won by energizing the non-voter to cast that single vote to let him stay on the island. Yes, they left the rest of the ballot blank allowing the conservative wins in the the other races, and that's why it's effects were not seen in any of the other races that day…

      • JamesB says:

        (Continued)
        The interesting thing about this analysis is that if you throw away the outcome of the Presidential race as a 'statistical flyer', the rest of the results shows a very unified country that is right of center and are more in line with the University of Colorado election results predictions from their computerized election model (which had a stellar record at predicting outcomes until now).

        I've brought up the concept of the 'social voter' to several people and most make the mistake of thinking only issues voters come out to vote (or more accurately, all voters are issues voters).

        Or they make the mistake of thinking I mean ALL the Democrat voters were 'social voters', which is just not the case. The 'social voter' was simply that little bit of oomph that got Obama across the threshold primarily in the swing states (were the strategy was concentrated) and was the only thing different from earlier elections and flew under the radar for those 'not in the know' (I mean, non-voters don't affect elections do they? Unless they vote anyways…)

        Yet the concept of the 'social voter' explains so much, such as why Media Matters and other left wing polling was closer to what happened in the Presidential race (they were aware of the 'social voter' strategy and needed to take it into account for internal polling they were doing for the Democrats).

        It also reconciles why the Presidential race went differently than the rest of the races. You remove the 'social voter' block from the vote counts and it matches the right wing pre-election polling results more closely (as do the non-Presidential races ).

        You add in the results of the exit polling and the fact that Obama won with less this time around than he did in 2008, and it's clear something happened. One could jump to a conclusion of widespread and rampant voter fraud, but I chose to discount that and looked at what scenario fit the ALL facts at hand.

        You take into account several things that were going on and it was clear what happened. Among those things were Obama eschewing hard news shows (and I use that term loosely here) in favor of social venues such as The View, Letterman and Jon Stewart and hanging around with Beyonce and Jay Z, et al.

        And the buses being operated every day and all day that there was early voting that anyone could get on and be taken to the polls with the instructions while en route on how to cast a ballot for Obama.

        They can do it again next election too…

        • AmericanMom says:

          Exactly JamesB – We MUST address this. This is large scale vote fraud. It's organized crime. This is vote suppression of the legitimate voters, swamping our right to vote in an ocean of fraud.

      • richard40 says:

        One big problem with this analysis, the senate. The dems had twice as many seats up as we did, but they ended up gaining 2 seats, when simple math should have had them losing 2-3.. And many repubs lost in repub or toss up states, and got fewer votes than romney. Some of it can be explained by weak candidates, like Akin and Mourdock, but not all. It is likely that many of these new voters the dems mobilized for Obama also went for senate dems, and could again in 2014, unless repubs build up a comparable turnout operation. I do agree there was some vote fraud, but repubs have always had to contend with that, and it didn't stop us from winning before. Something new has definitely happened, and I think the new voter turnout operation described in this article is definitely a part of it, and repubs need a comparable grassroots operation to do the same.

    8. FredN says:

      What needs to be researched is how much local media versus national media affects the voting of peoples. Obama did little to assist congressional candidates as well as local candidates. What I'd like to know if there is a way to create local television station briefs where issues are discussed "fairly" instead of the left slant the national media provides. Romney didn't get blown away although this 'new' type of voter was prompted into voting. I personally believe as Romney, that the vast majority of Obama voters were bought with welfare, food stamps, cellphones and with the promise of more to come.

      The vast majority of people in this country do not pay one iota of attention to what happens unless the media tells them. I believe the.local media should befin to play more of a roll in informing the public. Someone needs to look at this before the dems do.

    9. Chris Gerval says:

      If Republicans can't "compete" in this arena then maybe it is time for a 3rd party. We MUST have a candidate who follows the Constitution AND has the guts to fight dirty to beat the Democrats. Lord knows they have used every trick in the book to remain in power and until we the people put the right candidate up we will never beat them. I think when enough people get fed up w/the lack of leadership that the Republicans show, then they will WANT someone who WILL stand up for them. We have 4 years to put together a formula, a new party if needed, and get this ball rolling or it will be the same defeat in 2016.

      • Jacqueline says:

        Not enough of the Giant has awakened…..they have to lose their jobs and be unemployed for a few years unable to buy the lastest technological gadget or new car, etc. to see the light. In other words, they are not hurting enough, so they will continue to accept government freebies/assistance, etc. and those not on the Gov Entitlements program will suffer with having to live on a budget……Where did you say prosperity went? Oh, to China, of course.
        Buy only products and services made in the USA and take back this country or the GLOBALISTS will win and we will pay the price! Start now and hit them in their cash receipts where they will sit up and take notice. It's all about money!

        • Brownguy says:

          Third party is dumb as hell. The Dems will shed maybe 10 – 15 % of their vote, while the Repubs will split completely. Even in the very, very unlikely scenario the third party got 70% of the Repub vote, plus the Dem 10%, they would still get creamed every time.
          The best bet is to clean up the Repubs, field more female and minority candidates(it shouldn`t matter, but does), get rid of a lot of country club types, talk less about social issues, focus on economics, finances and debt, and keep battling the media`s messaging.
          Oh yeah, and quit being the stupid party with campaign strategies(see article above).

    10. Erik Osbun says:

      Get real Mr. Istook and ADDRESS MASSIVE ELECTION FRAUD!

    11. Victoria DeLacy says:

      On election day, WMAL radio out here revealed a report from a poll watcher in my city of Woodbridge who saw people who had already been checked off on the books being allowed to vote again…God only knows how many times they voted that day…and they were literally being brought in to do that by the busload. In other places, what had been intended to register as Romney votes were being converted by machines into Obama votes. In some precincts it was found that fully 148% of registered voters actually voted that day. Obama called in the despotic U.N. to "oversee" our electoral process this year. It had nothing to do with voter turnout and everything to do with the fact that the entire election was in fact crudely STOLEN! If our branches of government do not get on the task of restoring integrity to our voting system, we will have in fact already become the biggest corrupt banana republic in the WORLD – what a DISGRACE!

      • AmericanMom says:

        Agree. STOLEN. We MUST address at every level, because there is no reason these crooks will stop. This is organized crime people. The country has been voting to repudiate this administration since 2009, and all of a sudden there's all this increased support? That didn't turn up for all the endless campaign events?

        Enough with the BS. We all know what happened.

      • richard40 says:

        One slight irony is that many UN observers turned out to be honest, and one of the main observations they documented was the inadequacy of our precautions against election fraud, saying they had much tighter anti fraud controls in their own nations. I'm thinking maybe we need to institute the indellible dyed fingers they did in Iraq to prevent vote fraud there.

    12. . . . and the dopes in leadership on our side continue to stumble and bumble behind like the ignorant fools they are. . . We deserve to have our books thrown down the stairwells: we never fight to win.

    13. Jacqueline says:

      This election turned my stomach. I will not vote again until the voting system is revamped and the electoral votes thrown out…..Since when do only a few states determine who the next president is…..My guess is that they were bought or bribed like everything else. Furthermore, I will not vote until the ruling class who do all of the bribing and payoffs are indicted and thrown in jail and the key thrown in the deepest part of the ocean. I have had enough of corruption to last me until I go home to the TRUTH.

      • richard40 says:

        Abolishing the electoral college may make things worse. At least most of the swing states had repub governors and legislators who could at least try to combat vote fraud. If we go with just a popular vote, the dems could totally ignore flyover country, and just turnout out huge numbers of fraudalent voters in a few dem controled states, like CA, NY, IL, and MA, and swamp everything.

    14. cas127 says:

      Mr. Istook,

      You should look into the numerous reports of "peer pressure" mailings sent to various Dems around the nation ("This list of your neighbors have already voted in this election, but you have not voted since…").

      These mailings should like the result of the "lab work" you describe in your article.

    15. DogBrother says:

      Very hard to believe the Republicans were simply outmaneuvered. This kind of messaging only works if the market is not flooded. If the Republicans were doing the same thing there would have been a lot of noise and the usefulness of the strategy would have declined. I am sure the professionals know the techniques and who is applying it. and how it is applied. The Republicans have disappeared now that the election is over. They are not acting like an opposition party but Democratic running dogs. We have been had.

    16. NewHampshire says:

      Obama employed many high tech people to create a system for his campaign.

      But you can't tell me there wasn't massive voter fraud as well.

      On voting day, I counted hundreds of people on the internet who were bragging about having gone to two or more polling places, to sign up to vote, more than once. It was sickening to watch in real time.

      One was a precinct captain who posted on FB, then erased it, but not before a screen shot was taken.

      I wonder, did Jim Turner ever get prosecuted for what he did?

    17. pdiddycornchips says:

      Wow, this is all very sinister but using behavior science to better understand voting patterns isn't exactly criminal. Nor is the fact the a liberal leaning research firm doesn't share their work product with the opposition. There are plenty of conservative research groups who operate exactly the same way the firms described here do in terms of their funding and transparency. Maybe the lesson is lost on those who can't see past their vitriol but liberal organizations spent their money trying to turn out new voters and Republicans spent theirs trying to prevent people from voting. The results are in, Republicans lost.

    18. DBix says:

      What did they learn from this election and what did we learn? Their strategy worked so we will see it used again. Unfortunately, the media also learned that they have the power. They are emboldened to turn it up even more next time.

      Someone commented that Republicans did very well amongst the informed voters. It was the uninformed voters that swung this Obama’s way. The Dems did not waste time or effort trying to inform them. They wanted them stupid. The Republicans do not need to bother to educate them. They just need to figure out how to get their votes. Rubio should start booking MTV programs right now.

    19. rmgdnnow says:

      I am inclined to believe that the Dems have looked for very intelligent, educated and motivated people to research among the electorate those single-issue voters such as pro-abortion, pro-welfare, pro-increased food stamps, pro-increased research in "renewable energy" groups, and especially, the poorly educated (by the NEA union) persons who only know what they are told by friendly advisers and have no ability to analyze issues and problems.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×