Musser and partner Alex Skatell -- he's 26 -- recently launched a budding digital empire, Media Group of America LLC, which includes a digital consulting firm, a center-right news site viewed by more than 3.5 million people this month, and a technology tool they claim will "leapfrog" President Obama's cutting-edge campaign. (Asked if he's worried, Obama's top digital strategist quipped, "In a word, no.")
Let the trash-talking commence. Musser and Skatell are among a handful of Republican operatives clamoring to bridge the digital divide revealed by the 2012 election, in which Obama's campaign deployed a sophisticated data-mining operation to reshape the electorate into a winning coalition of young people, women and minorities.
MGA's signature online tool is called COR, for Central Organizing Responder, and like Obama's Narwhal, it can merge different campaign spreadsheets on one data platform. That means canvassing lists, phone banks, fundraising reports, event sign-in sheets and social networks are all integrated with outside data for highly detailed profiles of voters and supporters.
One key difference between COR and Obama's digital strategy: it's for sale. Possibly as soon as next month, Musser and Skatell envision a Netflix-like sharing arrangement in which campaigns pay a monthly fee for software that even an old-school political consultant can navigate.