“There have been numerous postmortems about ‘what Clinton did wrong,’ but I don’t think that can really be analyzed outside of ‘what Obama did right.’
Much of it was laid out in a fascinating article in the Atlantic by Joshua Green, where he recounts Obama’s early courting of Silicon Valley techies and the social networking architecture they subsequently helped to build. It turned his campaign into a virtual machine for organizing volunteers and generating money.
I remember being at an Obama event in Iowa, and the row of volunteers at each door was four people deep. You weren’t getting in there without giving some bit of personal contact information. Got a cell phone? Scott Goodstein ran their text messaging campaign. Enter your zip code and you’ll be activated when volunteers are needed in a particular state. The way the campaign worked volunteers into a system orchestrated by professional organizers was staggering both in its scope and its efficiency. They built an email list that is estimated to be somewhere between 4 and 8 million, some say as high as 10. Then they worked it. And worked it. Every email solicitation is now a fundraising motherlode.”