Can technology win the campaign for Barack Obama? Stay with me for a moment while I try to answer — and no, the answer is not already on Google. I checked.
Consider the following: Obama has the most sophisticated voter targeting operation in history. As many have already pointed out, Obama is building the next generation of sophisticated digital tools to identify and motivate his voters, improving upon his state-of-the-art efforts in 2008. Many of his ideas and some of his digital leadership comes from Google.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has featured a series of messages — on gay marriage, birth control and immigration — that are tailor-made for targeting. This marriage of issues to voting blocs is nothing new in politics. What is new is the application of data mining technology to politics to allow the campaign to maximize their targeting.
Perhaps, in the end, the economy will trump all, and Obama knows he has to fight on this terrain as well. But he also is betting that technology can help him elevate so-called second-tier issues as a hedge against an emerging Romney advantage on the campaign’s number one issue. My thanks to my colleague and friend, Craig James, for stimulating this post and many others.