In The Gaffe Business

by Dish Staff

Emma Roller profiles campaign trackers, individuals “employed by an opposing political party to follow a candidate on the campaign trail, documenting his or her every move, in hopes of capturing a slipup”:

American Bridge [a Democratic organization] employs 43trackers trackers to cover 39 states. Since 2012, the organization has tripled the number of events its trackers cover. In 2012, Bridge’s 20 trackers recorded 3,000 events in 33 states. In 2014, they have tracked more than 9,000 events and traveled a cumulative 693,000 miles.

“When it’s a presidential campaign, you’re going from flight to flight to flight to event,” Farr said. “Their schedule is your schedule. So if you have a candidate that’s having eight events a day, you have eight events a day. And you’re obviously usually surrounded by people that have different opinions than you, and are definitely fighting for the exact opposite of what you are.”

Some trackers have been following the same candidate for years—around the state, around the country, on planes, on buses, in town halls, in swanky fundraisers—all on the off chance that they’ll get the candidate on tape saying something politically distasteful or flip-flopping on a position. A new “47 percent” or “Macaca,” if you will.