Romney Lost – Dan Centinello Harpooned ORCA

Harpooned ORCA

I’m very tired of the pundits, the consultants, the busy body’s running off at the mouth blaming Mitt Romney, the Republican party, the advisor’s of this and that for the loss this November.

It’s over but I thought its time to take a closer look at why Mitt Romney lost to Barack Hussein Obama.

First, I believe there are a multitude of reasons for a loss in a very close election. There was no mandate despite what Democrats would have you believe or even the erstwhile John Boehner proclaiming Obamacare is the “law of the land” and acting as though he’s ready to cave in at the whim of Harry Reid and Obama.

I believe plenty of voter fraud took place and in GOP run states the people at the helm did little or nothing to protect the integrity of the vote. Ohio (Wood County in particular) and St. Lucie County in Florida are prime examples where cheating and stealing took precedent. Where were the Governor’s and Secretary of States’ when over 100% of the registered voters voted on Nov. 7th? Didn’t this seem a bit curious? Why weren’t voting machines confiscated?

But I digress. In the end, the voting day “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) effort failed the Romney campaign because Project ORCA failed.

I was on the Project ORCA team as a volunteer for election day. I attended three conference calls concerning the project in which the Q&A sessions ended without getting answers to questions because the guy in charge, Dan Centinello, was too busy chest pounding and bragging about the state of the art, Microsoft written software, would be the final nail in the Obama election coffin. How this software, thoroughly tested would ensure victory by helping phone banks get accurate polling information in real time to alert people on the ground to GOTV in their precincts.

Estimated at around 35 thousand volunteers sat by with Smart Phones and tablets waiting for the packets and credentials which final arrived in their email one to two days before the election. Not much time to test things or get acquainted. Told to visit your local Victory Center for help in most cases the packets arrived to late for that. I called my Victory Center and County GOP offices, left untold messages and never received a call back. I had personal cell numbers of people supposedly in charge and never received a call back. I had Dan Centinello’s personal email address and for weeks never received a response to a number of messages I sent. The Boston HQ had a voice mail but never a call back.

But there was Dan Centinello and his robo-call during the week ringing me up for a conference call and another cheerleading session.

I know computer systems from mainframes to laptops and something with ORCA smelled more like rotting fish. I wasn’t the only one as one question did get asked about Beta testing and we were assured all was tested and all was fool-proof and hack-proof. The stench was profound as the weakness in Centinello’s answer was more defensive than spot on.

I’m also a numbers guy, from what I understand Mr. Centinello dropped out of college. His lack of due diligence with Project ORCA may very well have sunk the USS Romney.

Some analyses within the media have proposed that the failure of Project ORCA (directed by Dan Centinello) cost Mitt Romney the presidency. How, you say? Lets take a look.

Romney only needed to win four more states to have been the victor in the electoral college: Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia. The margin of victory for Obama in those swing states was as follows:

  • NV – 66,379 votes
  • FL – 73,189 votes
  • OH – 103,481 votes
  • VA – 115,910 votes
  • TOTAL: 358,959 votes

Had Romney increased his turnout by these margins, he would have beaten Obama in the electoral college and won the election. So how is this related to Project ORCA? Two key ways.

I can also look at Iowa and Colorado to pluck enough votes to increase the lead for Romney even more. Other combinations of these states would have turned the electoral college to Romney.

I’m not even close to the first to bring the unmitigated disaster of Project ORCA but I witnessed the event, or lack thereof, and I’m just tired of all the so-called experts chiming in with their theories. In the end, if Project ORCA worked as intended, Mitt Romney would most likely be President-Elect Romney instead of America facing the disaster for America known as Barack Hussein Obama.

Don’t believe me, here is a nice list of reading material. In the end, you can pick and choose what caused the election to go to Obama but GOTV was the plan right down to election day and Project ORCA didn’t work for the volunteers sitting with their Smart Phones, their tablets and other devices ready to work, work and work to victory.

But Dan Centinello didn’t deliver as advertised. That’s the bottom line. Period! If you wish to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. Especially when the presidential election is on the line as well as the future of the country.

Dan Centinello should never, ever be affiliated with any political campaign unless he goes over to the other side. In fact, Centinello, self-proclaimed techno-wizard, should never be allowed near a computer network other than his personal own. He knows only enough to be dangerous. Garbage in, garbage out. Dan Centinello, political tech garbage man.

Other Sources in addition to my inside look:

Pre-Election:

Huffington Post: Project ORCA: Mitt Romney Campaign Plans Massive, State-Of-The-Art Poll Monitoring Effort

“There’s nothing that the Obama data team, there’s nothing that the Obama campaign, there’s nothing that President Obama himself can do to even come close to what we are putting together here,” Romney Deputy Political Director Dan Centinello said Wednesday night in a training call for Project ORCA.

Post-Election:

Hot Air: Kindly enjoy this pre-election video of Team Romney talking about how awesome “ORCA” is

I could write a whole article for you on my experience with ORCA…including the emails back and forth with Dan Centinello, who is utterly and completely inept at whatever job it is he was actually supposed to be doing.

Politico: Mitt Romney’s ORCA program couldn’t stay afloat

He did not immediately respond to a question about what firm was contracted to develop ORCA, which was overseen by deputy political director Dan Centinello, according to several sources involved in the operation.

Commentary: Romney’s Get Out the Vote Fiasco

The operative in question, Dan Centinello, Romney’s Deputy Political Director, was Shoshanna’s only point of contact with the campaign. Her emails were answered within 24 hours, always by Centinello. There appears to have been no delegation on Centinello’s part, and every question sent was answered by the ORCA project manager personally. It’s likely that if this was taking place with the thousands of volunteers in Project ORCA, Centinello was spending hundreds of hours answering basic questions from volunteers that could have been addressed by lower level staffers.

ARS Technica: Inside Team Romney’s whale of an IT meltdown

As the day wore on and information still failed to flow in from the field, the Romney campaign was flying blind. Instead of using Orca’s vaunted analytics to steer their course, Centinello and the rest of Romney’s team had no solid data on how to target late voters, other than what they heard from the media.

Breitbart: Exclusive – Inside Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote

Orca diverted scarce resources that would have been better used physically moving voters to polling places. By a rough calculation, Romney lost the election by falling 500,000 to 700,000 votes short in key swing states. If each of the 37,000 volunteers that had been devoted to Orca had instead brought 20 voters to the polls in those states over the course of the day, Romney would have won the election.

Wall Street Journal: On Why Romney Lost

he Romney campaign badly screwed up the turnout operation. If he’d merely gotten as many votes as Mr. McCain in 2008, he would have won. Team Romney created something called Project Orca that was supposed to target people and get them to the polls but crashed when people went to the polls.

Ace of Spades HQ: The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA

The end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help.

Human Events: Project ORCA dies on the beach

This left over thirty thousand volunteers under-utilized, while the Obama campaign was hauling truckloads of voters to the polls.

Business Insider: Insiders Explain How Mitt Romney’s Campaign Completely Fell Apart On Election Day

A major source of Romney’s GOTV problems appears to have been the disastrous Project ORCA, an expensive technological undertaking that was supposed to provide the campaign with real-time poll monitoring that would allow Republicans to target GOTV efforts on Election Day. But on almost all counts, ORCA failed miserably.

National Review: Orca May Not Have Worked for Romney Camp All of Election Day in Swing State

Did that mean, I asked, that at no point during Election Day they had been able to access Orca’s data? Correct, the source verified: “At zero points throughout the day.”

ABC News: Romney Campaign Acknowledges High-Tech Election Day Monitoring System ‘Had Its Challenges’

Technical issues began early and continued sporadically throughout the day. The system crashed entirely for about 90-minutes in the late morning on Tuesday — a problem the campaign attributed to an overload of the data servers in the TD Garden in Boston, the site of the campaign’s Election Day “war room.”

Daily Beast: The Romney Campaign’s Ground Game Fiasco

On Tuesday, it became clear that the deployment of Orca was doing more harm than good. “I think it’s fair to say that pretty much everything about the system that was supposed to work actually failed,” said one campaign official who witnessed the breakdown from the Romney war room on the floor of Boston’s TD Garden.

CNET: Why Romney’s Orca killer app beached on Election Day

Project Orca was supposed to give the Romney campaign a technical advantage over Obama on election day. It got harpooned instead.

ComputerWorld: An inside look behind Romney’s loss: An epic failure of its Orca big-data app

A cautionary tale about how not to deploy a big-data app in politics or business

Washington Examiner: In Boston, stunned Romney supporters struggle to explain defeat

Orca had pretty much crashed in the heat of the action.  “Somebody said Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it,” said the aide.

Wired: Fail Whale Leaps From Twitter, Lands on Mitt Romney

The campaign gave out incorrect PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, meaning none of them could login to submit their lists. A new set of PINs was generated, but those didn’t work either.

Politico: Romney’s fail whale: ORCA the vote-tracker left team ‘flying blind’

The system was never beta-tested or checked for functionality in the Boston TD Garden, where it would be used, without going live before Election Day, two sources said. It went live that morning but was never checked for bugs or efficiencies internally

Mashable: Did Romney’s Tech Fail Cost Him Key Votes?

ORCA was a near-complete failure from both technological and organizational perspectives. On a training call, Romney staff didn’t answer questions about stress-testing or security. Volunteers didn’t receive proper instructions about the app or their Election Day role in general. The app was web-based, not an actual mobile app, confusing some volunteers.

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