Metrics Book description Hacking the Electorate is the most comprehensive study to date about the consequences of campaigns using microtargeting databases to mobilize voters in elections.
The Democrats and the institutional left have a new political tool that allows them to virtually ignore moderates yet still win elections. This tool, the Catalist database, was employed in the election. That election defied conventional wisdom: Mitt Romney sought and won independent voters overwhelmingly, but still lost.
Beyond winning elections, Catalist also allows the Democrats to turn the policy narrative upside down and suffer no political consequence for implementing radical policies which appeal to their base.
Obama thrives politically by satisfying his base. Simply, Catalist is a game changer not just for politics, but for policy. And candidates, organizations, strategists, and consultants who do not understand what they are up against in Catalist risk being overrun.
I had the opportunity to explore the functionality and architecture of Catalist in a way few — if any — others on the opposite side of Catalist have had, and what I discovered sure explains a lot about the last six years. No longer are Democrats anchored to the preferences of Americans in the middle.
Obama has pushed policies far outside the mainstream, and even far outside popular will, but succeeded in wringing out an Electoral College majority in because of Catalist.
Unfortunately, Republicans have no functioning counterpart data tool to Catalist. Democrats and the institutional left, in contrast, have created a collaborative and fully integrated system that allows them to ignore the middle while extracting unprecedented turnout from a micro-targeted, ideologically far-left base.
Catalist is an example of the consultant, profit-driven culture of the GOP being beaten by the messianic crusader culture of the left.
During the election, a producer for a conservative news network received a knock at his door in a key swing state. Two neighbors were standing on his stoop campaigning for Obama. They knew that she was employed in a profession which the Obama campaign had decided to microtarget: The two neighbors were already armed with this personalized information.
Instead, the campaign matched a microtargeted demographic special needs service providers with a highly motivated Obama volunteer in close neighborly proximity to the target.
Or, the GOP bothers the target with telephone calls or a direct mail campaign containing at best a whiff of microtargeting.
The second example involves a recent statewide election. In a state where one Democrat and one Republican must be appointed to run each precinct, an election official described for me a problem encountered with the Democratic Party.
What evidence did the party have to object to her bona fides? Consider the course charted by some GOP leaders: Steering a moderate and cautious course made perfect sense before Catalist. But now, failing to appeal to an activated and motivated political base spells doom, as the last two presidential elections have demonstrated.
Magazine subscription lists and church directories, for example, provided a way to identify and contact broad subsets of voters through direct mail or other generic contact. This success led Harold Ickes and other progressives to attempt to build a better mousetrap that helps progressives.
It was first used by Obama inand was used with devastating effectiveness in his reelection. To understand the power of Catalist, you must understand the complex Catalist architecture, and how it is different than anything used by the GOP or conservative causes.
Imagine the Borg in Star Trek.
Every Borg unit can see what all the other units see. They share data and react in unison. Similarly, the data feeding the central Catalist database are coming from a wide swath of sources. Public records, pollsters, campaigns, non-profits, activist groups, unions, parties, commercial data — scores and scores of sources are feeding the central database data.
For example, when an environmental group does neighborhood door knocking for cash, the results of those contacts are fed into Catalist. You have your own individual voter file in Catalist.
Under that file might be a massive amount of information about you — more than probably exists in any other database in the world.
Whom you work for, what car you might drive, donations you have made, assumptions based on your neighborhood, anything in a public government database about you, consumer preferences, partisan preferences, what licenses you have, what you might have said to pollsters on the phone, memberships, how you treated the young left-wing activist knocking on your door a few years ago, and on and on and on.
Each group working with Catalist feeds the central database. Different groups have different types of data about you. Some data relate to economics.
Other data relate to politics. Either way, the Borg all work in unison to fill the database with a massive amount of information about every American — and all of it is perfectly legal. From the Catalist Website In the vast central database, these data are organized, structured and housed by Catalist, a limited liability company with offices in Washington, D.Dissertation upon customs around jamaica, nrc resourceful creating, custom made composing world-wide-web.
Within this job interview, I personally talk to Eitan Hersh, a tutor associated with governmental research from Yale. Since numbers training, English language coursework, Supervision training, Scientific disciplines syllabus, Client. Dissertation: \The E ect of Collaboration on Distributive Preferences: Behavioral Games and a Field Experiment" Committee: Alan Gerber (Chair), John Bullock, Eitan Hersh.
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