First, an overview of the ORCA Project, "the campaign-designed voter-tracking app that was supposed to rival the Obama campaign's ground-game efforts":
[I]t was described as a mega-app for smartphones that would link the more than 30,000 operatives and volunteers involved in get-out-the-vote efforts. PBS profiled it a few days before the election. The app was created and managed by the Romney campaign and was kept a secret among a close circle in Boston, according to POLITICO sources. It was supposed to be incredibly efficient and allow the campaign to streamline, from its War Room at the Garden in Boston, the efforts to maximize turnout of Romney backers.
But, according to a fascinating first-person account from a Romney volunteer on the front-lines of ORCA, it was a total debacle:
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. …
The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.
This was supposed to be Romney’s strength, the reason to prefer him to Gingrich, Santorum, etc. Even if he didn’t always seem so "severely conservative," he could be trusted to hold his own against Team Hopenchange in a battle of the ground games. After all, that’s his brand — he’s a managerial genius. If anyone could build a company capable of capturing the presidency, he could.
But he couldn’t.