Epilogue: Anatomy of a narrow victory in Iowa

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Gallup calls it the ‘most volatile’ nominating contest ever polled-but there has been one constant in Iowa: a list of more than 30,000 supporters that Romney’s team believed were unlikely to vote for any of his rivals, reports Sasha Issenberg. The process that produced this list had taken nearly five years to complete. Romney’s previous Iowa campaign allowed him to stockpile voter data and develop sophisticated systems for interpreting it. … Romney was able to carry the caucuses without assembling much of the heavy apparatus the media typically validate as a “ground game” or “organization”-the congeries of campaign offices, phone banks, field staffers, and phalanxes of volunteers-whose primary objective for much of the pre-caucus season is to maintain a dynamic census of potential caucus-goers. Romney maintained that census through statistical work and new technology, all built on having survived a dry run four years ago in which a profligate Romney spent $10 million on an embarrassing second-place finish.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.