Republicans Catch Up Online

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Jan 25, 2010 3:12 PM
It's been a common refrain since the 2008 presidential election: the Right isn't as good at technology as the Left. We're behind the times, we don't care as much, we're a party of grumpy old men who think the internets are something that scruffy young whippersnappers use to avoid reality.

Turns out, the reason Scott Brown was elected had a lot to do with superior Republican online strategy.

"Walking Edge"
was a last-minute cell phone platform that allowed volunteers to plug into a database that showed "undecided" households in the Massachusetts Senate election. The GPS on their phones allowed volunteers to locate these households, talk to them, imput the response of the voter, and keep moving, without using a clumsy, out-of-date "walk list" — the paper handouts most volunteers get when they knock on doors.

It was real-time technology that made ample use of the Republican volunteers who stormed Massachusetts and tried to make a difference. According to the developers, over 1,300 volunteers utilized this new technology, who collectively knocked on thousands of doors. Here's Rob Willington, Brown’s new media campaign manager, talking to the Grand Rapids Press:

Walking Edge ensured that any volunteer with an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone could be independent and walk on their own.

This is just one example of Republicans gaining ground in the game of technological catch-up.