"No other presidential campaign has so completely embraced this science. The campaign hired a team that topped out at 54 people and invested undisclosed millions in the effort. Analytics helped the campaign efficiently recruit volunteers, buy ads, tailor emails and mailers, raise money, dispatch surrogates — and, most importantly, scour the swing states for hard-to-find voters most likely to support the president. .....Another campaign official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak for the campaign, put it this way: "It's about turning over control to some nerds. And more than any other year, campaign leadership really took that leap of faith."
For campaign professionals, that is a major leap. Politics long has been ruled by truisms, conventional wisdom and intuition, with millions spent based on a murky mix of polling and focus groups. The shift to data-driven decision-making has been gradual and steady — becoming increasingly sophisticated as political parties amass more information about individual voters through traditional means, such as polls, and new ones, such as data mining.
The Obama campaign has made the transition over two elections. In this one, it employed analytics in a far more systematic and thorough way, officials said. But the work was a closely guarded secret. Officials denied requests for interviews with the analytics experts, and when journalists visited Obama headquarters, the team was ordered to shut the Cave door."