Data vs. Gurus: Democrats Say Metrics Are Eclipsing the Consultant Class

Missed in all the talk of their data wizardry, progressive organizers — including from the Obama campaign — say that campaigns based on numbers, testing, and best practices are a challenge to know-it-all political consultants.

The argument: In the years since Howard Dean’s quick rise and quicker fall, the left has embraced a model of campaign that’s fueled by data, empowered supporters, and the sort of open-source information sharing that happened at the seventh annual RootsCamp conference in Washington, D.C., last week. And that, they say, is making Democrats felicitously less dependent than Republicans on political “gurus” in the Karl Rove mold, prized for generations on both sides of the aisle for the political wisdom kept locked away in their brains. [cont.]

Nancy Scola, The Atlantic