MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - When Joe Biden is sworn in Wednesday as the nation's 46th President, Becca Siegel, 29, of Manitou Springs, will be watching with more than just a passing interest. Siegel was the Biden campaign's Chief Analytics Officer and is being credited, by some, with helping Biden gain the Presidency.
"It was really intense, more intense than anything I've ever done," Siegel told CBS4.
Siegel oversaw a team of 150 data analysts who took raw voter numbers leading up to the election and helped translate the data into an action plan for the candidate. The plan helped show where he should concentrate his efforts, where he should spend time and money and where he should not get overconfident.
"It was a really complicated puzzle, much more complicated than others to figure out what might happen," said Siegel.
Siegel grew up in Manitou Springs, graduated from Palmer High School and attended Stanford, where she notes she never took any kind of math class. After working on various campaigns and showing promise in working with data, she attended Columbia University where she studied applied statistics.
"I would identify as a data nerd, happily and with honor," laughed Siegel. She is apparently a pretty decent data nerd.
Greg Schultz, a senior Biden adviser, lavished high praise on Siegel.
"I would say Becca and her team were never wrong on any major issue the entire time."
He says her guidance through data helped the campaign raise money and be more efficient with voter contacts. Schultz says where others suggested zigging, Siegel urged zagging.
"Becca said 'there's a path in Georgia' a long time ago," noted Schultz.
When early polls showed Biden ahead by double digits in Wisconsin and other states, Siegel urged the campaign to not let up in those states.
She said "we were always more pessimistic with our internal numbers" than the outside polls. She urged the campaign to keep investing in states that appeared "safe."
Siegel said she was not surprised Biden lost Florida and North Carolina, but felt he might prevail after seeing the results from Nebraska's Second Congressional District. While it was only worth a single electoral vote, Siegel said the district is heavily suburban.
"Once we saw strong results there that was actually a good indicator of what was going to happen in those other places... Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, that we were still waiting on."
Being from Manitou Springs, said Siegel, was actually a help, not a hindrance in what she did.
"You see all kinds of people in Manitou Springs. You have the whole political spectrum really, and I think that's important. I know the voters and know what motivates them."
With the campaign grind over, Siegel has spent January skiing in Colorado's mountains, noting she hadn't really had much time off in almost two years. She said she's not sure what she will do next, but "wants to keep doing this kind of work."
for more features.