At The New York Times, Jackie Calmes writes how the Obama campaign is using technology in voter mobilization:
These are the hubs connecting Mr. Obama’s grass-roots army and his field marshals in state and national headquarters, who constantly process the raw data to map their next moves. For all of the attention to television advertising, the Obama campaign has made an investment likely to reach hundreds of millions of dollars — a gamble, really — in its ground game, with state-of-the-art technology for demographic data mining, consumer marketing, video production and social media, including the campaign’s own Dashboard social network to link, motivate and expand the ranks of volunteers.
The aim is to “break through the clutter,” as advisers say, of the hundreds of millions of dollars in negative television ads expected from Mitt Romney and the “super PACs” supporting him. The Obama campaign is trying to reconnect with the voters who turned out for him in 2008, find new supporters in groups likely to back him, target messages to them based on the issues that concern them and get them to volunteer and to vote, preferably during early-voting periods before Election Day.
On paper, the idea is simple. Voters get a call, a visit or both from a volunteer who lives in their neighborhood. An unregistered resident gets help in signing up to vote. If the voter is undecided and cares most about, say, education, the campaign will make sure that voter gets e-mails about Mr. Obama’s education policies, a heads-up the next time the president is going to be addressing the topic, and maybe even a ticket to his next event in the state. If the voter begins leaning toward Mr. Obama, the campaign will encourage early voting to lock up the support.