The Influencers 50: Disruptors

The Influencers 50: Disruptors

The messengers and foot soldiers in the technology space who are working to change the political landscape.

Campaigns & Elections has selected 10 individuals in five categories for what we're calling The Influencers 50: Communicators, Disruptors, Campaigners, Enforcers and Activists.

The stage is still being set for the final midterm election of the Obama administration and while it's not easy to predict what will move D.C. several months from now, these leaders are sure to be in the mix. See the complete list of Influencers here.

Andrew Bleeker
President, Bully Pulpit Interactive
Coming off a highly successful 2013 that saw Bully Pulpit Interactive help elect a governor of Virginia and Democratic mayors in Boston and New York, Bleeker's expertise is a prized commodity. The Obama campaign-alum knows how to get online advertising in front of the right people and could help tilt Democratic media budgets toward digital in 2014.

Zack Condry
Strategist, Prosper Group
Condry has worked for candidates ranging from Sharron Angle in Nevada to Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey. Prosper Group was part of the digital team that helped the New Jersey governor, and potential 2016 presidential candidate, cruise to victory this year. Count Condry among the group of Republican operatives making a strong case for campaigns to spend more in the digital space for the 2014 cycle. 

Carol Davidsen
Founder,, INC 
After leading the integration and media targeting department for the Obama campaign in 2012, Davidsen launched her own firm, which serves as a socially integrated marketplace for used goods. Through her consultancy with The Tusking Group she’ll continue to bridge the campaign and tech divides. Her background in the start-up world and in the cable and telecom industries give her the business acumen to stand out in a sea of tech consultants. 

Jim Gilliam
Founder, NationBuilder
Gilliam is an evangelist of sorts who wants to put the tools of political organizing online into the hands of as many candidates as possible. His nonpartisan firm and approach to technology has rankled Democrats and made an impact on the digital consulting landscape. One of the big questions for 2014: Can NationBuilder truly begin to challenge the political technology establishment even as partisan data and tech companies work to claim the campaign market?  

Katie Harbath
Manager for Public Policy, Facebook
Harbath has made it her mission to drag the Republican Party into the technology age, and her perch at Facebook allows her to school Republican campaigns and candidates on how to use the world’s largest social network to advertise and target their message. Between her work with Empower Action Group, a grassroots technology training program, and her coordination of Facebook ad strategy for Republicans, she’s sure to have an impact as the GOP attempts to fight its way toward technological parity in 2014.

Bret Jacobson
Partner, Red Edge
Jacobson is emerging as one of the GOP’s leading digital strategy hands, helping clients that range from the Heritage Foundation to the Chamber of Commerce with online advocacy. Jacobson is also among the most vocal in the GOP when it comes to pushing the party and individual Republican campaigns to more fully embrace digital spending.

Ethan Roeder
Executive Director, New Organizing Institute
A self-proclaimed troublemaker, Roeder is another successful alum of the Obama data team. His group’s work training field organizers could be enormously beneficial to Democrats, and his expertise in data and election administration -- he helped manage the Voting Information Project in the 2010 cycle -- make him a influential talent on the left. NOI is focused on schooling organizers in its party on the data and statistical analysis techniques that Democrats employed at the top of the ballot in 2012.  

Kristen Soltis Anderson
Vice President, The Winston Group
Soltis Anderson’s work on young voters is helping the party make inroads with groups it previously ignored. It also helps that Soltis Anderson is a gifted communicator, not to mention a sharp pollster. Soltis Anderson is among the most prominent of a new generation of Republican operatives who are tech-savvy and willing to push the party’s campaigns out of their traditional comfort zones. Along with her frequent cable TV spots, Soltis Anderson serves as an adviser to Crossroads Generation.

Aaron Strauss
Digital Consultant
A pollster and data analyst by trade, Strauss has branched out into consulting on his own. He now works for a variety of top companies, including Google, while also consulting for Democratic candidates and progressive groups. Strauss spent the past couple of campaign cycles at the Mellman Group where he built microtargeting models for several Democratic campaigns as head of the firm’s Decision Analytics team. In 2014, he's focused on how to leverage interactive technologies to provide faster feedback to campaigns so that managers and consultants quickly understand how well their tactics are working.

Dan Wagner
CEO and Founder, Civis Analytics
Wagner headed the Obama campaign’s analytics team before launching Civis Analytics earlier this year. One of the company’s early backers: Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, which should signal a vote of confidence for prospective clients. With offices in Chicago and Washington, DC, the firm is focused on scaling down the sophisticated analytics and targeting services employed by the Obama campaign in 2012. Civis has a slew of statewide races on tap for 2014.   

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