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Mitt Romney Wants Your Political DNA July 5, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries.
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political dna

AS MUCH AS WE CAN’T STAND THE GUY, THIS SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY SMART IDEA

FITSNews – July 5, 2007 – In case anybody missed this morning’s Washington Post there was an excellent story by political reporter extraordinaire Chris Cillizza on the evolving concept of voter “microtargeting.” Also known as “supersegmentation,” the basic idea behind microtargeting is to break down the “political DNA” of like-minded voters in an effort to get past their specific views on various issues and delve into the root motivations driving them to vote the way they do. Pioneered by Alex Gage, a former Bush strategist and current advisor to Mitt Romney, microtargeting is very scientific, incredibly complicated and yet surprisingly effective at shaping winning campaign messages. From Cillizza’s story in the Post:

The more information (Gage) has, the better he can group people into “target clusters” with names such as “Flag and Family Republicans” or “Tax and Terrorism Moderates.” Once a person is defined, finding the right message from the campaign becomes fairly simple. “Flag and Family Republicans might receive literature on a flag-burning amendment from its sponsor, while Tax and Terrorism Moderates get an automated call from [former New York mayor] Rudy Giuliani talking about the war on terror, even if they lived right next door to one another,” Alex Lundry, the senior research director of TargetPoint — the firm Gage founded in 2003 — wrote recently in Winning Campaigns magazine.

The whole thing sounds pretty Orwellian to us, but by all accounts it’s been pretty successful. For example, Bush used microtargeting extensively to beat John Kerry in 2004, and Romney used it in his successful 2002 run for governor of Massachusetts. Whatever you think of the method, though, Cillizza’s story about it was one of the better pieces of investigative journalism we’ve seen thusfar in the 2008 campaign.

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