Remember the “47 percent” video that went viral and put the Mitt Romney presidential campaign into a mad scramble? How about the time Elizabeth Warren was called out for claiming she was Native American? Ever wonder how these revelations were unearthed? Perhaps it was a shrewd investigative reporter, or a paid employee from an opposing campaign.
The answer is amateur opposition researchers who are driven by their beliefs, even though they are neither officially part of a campaign, nor paid for their work. The now-infamous 47 percent video, for example, was unearthed by James Carter — grandson of the former President Jimmy Carter — who spends hours of his time doing online research on the Republican party and its candidates.
Carter is part of a powerful group operating on both sides that is harnessing the power of the internet to upend campaigns and reshape the political conversation. Need to Know Hannah Yi reports on this often hidden world of opposition research.