“There was a new actor in the campaign drama: Jim Messina. Obama convinced Messina to leave his political father, Sen. Max Baucus, by calling him the day after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the Democratic primary contest. The sales pitch was neither about hope nor change. “You’re really going to get to run a business,” Obama told Messina.” 
“The power of this operation stunned Mr. Romney’s aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla. “It’s one thing to say you are going to do it; it’s another thing to actually get out there and do it,” said Brian Jones, a senior adviser.” 
The 2008 and 2012 US general elections were two of the most closely watched political races in modern history. Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign broke fund-raising records- attracting more than $1.1B in donations, most of which was raised online. The campaign also designed and executed the most sophisticated electorate mobilization operations ever seen in American politics to defeat Mitt Romney- a well-financed establishment candidate. Obama’s 2008 candidacy was based on the electorate’s general dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. The 2012 race was staged as a referendum on Mr. Obama’s controversial health care and government-funded bailout programmes. While most of the campaign’s “customer” promise could only be delivered whilst governing in office, the first, most critical task/promise was getting the underdog candidate re-elected – and the campaign operations were up to the task.
Who was the Obama voter and how did the campaign use its operations to identify them? The campaign analyzed opinion polls as well as historic voter information from Mr. Obama’s previous statewide/national elections to identify the “characteristics” of potential voters. The campaign then recruited a cadre of behavioral scientists to extrapolate and build out a database populated with millions of voters that fit the target profile. The “customer” journey from initial contact and voter registration to message delivery, persuasion and balloting, was mapped out in to distinct waypoints. A file was created for each voter that could then be tracked throughout the entire journey. 
Delivering the Message/Media Operations
The results of the Obama campaign’s target voter profile suggested that potential voters were of diverse backgrounds, and that they skewed young and non-white. The diverse nature of Mr. Obama’s voter base presented significant challenges- many of these demographics were motivated by sharply different causes. Millennials were concerned with expanding civil rights as well as what they perceived as America’s perpetual war-footing, baby boomers voted their views on income inequality and the direction of the economy, independent voters favored more measured federal policies. Obama’s message/media operations had to deliver a message that had broad appeal to these different demographics. To tailor these messages, the campaign’s media operations teams conducted extensive A/B testing. 
For example, the Obama team would first test fundraising emails on a small representative subset of the donor list with varied subject lines and content. The sample’s response and click-through rate data were aggregated and used to project fundraising revenue for the broader donor pool. Emails with the highest projected fundraising values were then sent out to the entire donor list. 
The campaign also created My.BarackObama.com- a social media platform that allowed enlisted volunteers to create customized pages, generate fundraising links and view likely-voter information for people within their neighborhoods. The platform included a “Dashboard” that when integrated with a volunteers’ facebook account, could search for potential voter-friends who had not yet been registered. Volunteers could then contact these new voters with a customized message from the Obama campaign. 
In total the campaign facilitated 125M personalized phone calls over the course of the election. 
Dashboard also decentralized the flow of voter information within the campaign. Campaign headquarters, field organizers and volunteers all had access to the same information updated in real time.  Volunteer-updated voter rolls would immediately be visible to campaign headquarters, which could then modify where specific voters were in their respective journeys. 
Election Day – Get Out The Vote (GOTV)
The Obama campaign’s statistical team assigned two voter rating scales to every registered voter. The scales ranged from 1 to 100 and were predictive of both the probability that the voter would support Obama as well as the likelihood that they would show up to the polls.  Voters with high support scores but lower likeliness to turn out received targeted election-day attention from the Obama Campaign’s GOTV operation. To facilitate this attention the campaign set up 5,100 GOTV stations in battleground states and enlisted 700,000 volunteers to get voters to the polls.  l
Mr. Obama won re-election in 2012, at a time when 52% of the electorate was of the opinion that America was “Seriously off on the wrong track” and that “the Federal government was doing too much”. Unemployment was stubbornly high at 7.8%, just a single basis point lower than when Mr. Obama first took office in 2008. The fact that Obama was able to win in such unfavorable electoral conditions is amongst other things, a testament to the seamless integration between his campaign’s charter, and its boots on-the-ground operations.