Soren on urban Republicans

Politico‘s Byron Tau had a piece about urban Republicans. I said:

“There are lessons to be learned from Republican organizations in cities like Philadelphia and New York, where Republicans fight and win city council races,” said Soren Dayton, a Republican strategist and executive director of the Young Republican National Federation. “We cannot afford to write off the most vote-rich parts of the country.”

Soren on Republican campaigns

I made a comment to National Journal’s Elahe Izadi about how Republican campaigns are run …

GOP political strategist Soren Dayton uses a war analogy to illustrate the conundrum: “Part of the reason World War I was so bloody was that they had the basic tools of modern warfare, but they didn’t know how to use them in smart ways. So they just sat in trenches and shot at each other,” he said. “We need technology, but we need to use it more effectively.”

I would add that upgrading the technology isn’t enough. If Republicans use technology to make top-down voter contact more efficient, that is only a linear improvement in campaign effectiveness. In 2008 and again in 2012, Obama made the organizer more efficient, making her exponentially more effective. It is not enough for Republicans to use the same old campaigns with better technology. We need to reinvent the campaign in the context of the technology revolution that is changing organizations across our society.

Soren in Campaign and Elections on sentiment analysis

I was asked about the future of sentiment analysis in campaigns. My answer:

Still, there are plenty of caveats. Sentiment analysis can still be costly for down-ballot campaigns. And Soren Dayton, SVP at Prism Public Affairs, says only presidential races would have the signal-to-noise ratio for sentiment analysis to truly be meaningful.

“I think the key thing here is that polling or sentiment analysis is valuable for checking models when you have good enough models,” he says. “All of this can be integrated as people try to build profiles.”

Soren in BuzzFeed on campaign organization

BuzzFeed asked some younger operatives and consultants what we see as the future. They published part of my answer:

“We still haven’t learned the lesson of the Obama campaign of 2008: The Internet and technology, by lowering transaction costs and barriers to entry, can empower individuals to be more impactful to the political process in general,” said Soren Dayton, a Republican consultant who specializes in new media. “Obama turned activists to organizers. Republican campaigns still treat activists as ATMs and phone-calling automatons.”

Post-election BBC interview

My post-election BBC interview on why Romney lost. Click through for the video:

Soren Dayton is a Republican strategist and former staffer on John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Speaking to the BBC’s Jon Sopel, he criticised Romney’s decision to swing to the right on immigration as, “profoundly damaging and misguided”.

On the campaign’s failure to win over female voters he said, “There were some dumb things said – frankly stupid and profoundly insensitive – that created a problem”.

Mr Dayton said there were “fundamental bad decisions” which included letting the Obama campaign define who Romney was.