As conservatives search for an explanation for Mitt Romney’s loss, much of the blame has been directed at the collapse of his campaign’s Election Day get out the vote efforts, a massive organizational failure that resulted in lower Republican turnout than even John McCain got in 2008.
A major source of Romney’s GOTV problems appears to have been the disastrous Project ORCA, an expensive technological undertaking that was supposed to provide the campaign with real-time poll monitoring that would allow Republicans to target GOTV efforts on Election Day.
In the week leading up to the election, Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul told Business Insider that ORCA was "the Republican Party’s newest, most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 election," touting it as the game-changer that would blow even the Obama campaign’s sophisticated GOTV system out of the water.
But on almost all counts, ORCA failed miserably. In a fascinating piece for Ace of Spades, Romney poll-watcher John Ekdahl describes a perfect storm of technology problems that made the ORCA app unusable and left scores of Republican volunteers " wandering around confused and frustrated" on Election Day.
Worse still, Ekdahl told Business Insider that the Romney campaign failed to provide poll-watching volunteers in his region — Jacksonville, Florida, a key Republican city in a major swing state — with proper credentials and accurate voter strike lists, rendering them unable to perform their duties even if the ORCA app had worked.