A message from the President just for you

The ability of the Obama campaign to tailor its message has been part of my worry about just how difficult he will be to beat in the coming election campaign. But the level of sophistication now being reported is utterly beyond anything anyone might have conceived even as recently as the last election. This article on the use of voter profiling to decide what messages to send each individual person on its vast database listing millions of voters raises the ante to quite a phenomenal degree. Just think about this:

As part of a project code-named Narwhal, Obama’s team is working to link once completely separate repositories of information so that every fact gathered about a voter is available to every arm of the campaign. Such information-sharing would allow the person who crafts a provocative email about contraception to send it only to women with whom canvassers have personally discussed reproductive views or whom data-mining targeters have pinpointed as likely to be friendly to Obama’s views on the issue….

Permanently linking the campaign’s various databases in real time has become one of the major projects for Obama’s team this year. Full data integration would allow the campaign to target its online communication as sharply as it does its offline voter contact. When it comes to sensitive subjects like contraception, the campaign could rely on its extensive predictive models of individual attitudes and preferences to find friendly recipients….

More broadly, Narwhal would bring new efficiency across the campaign’s operations. No longer will canvassers be dispatched to knock on the doors of people who have already volunteered to support Obama. And if a donor has given the maximum $2,500 in permitted contributions, emails will stop hitting him up for money and start asking him to volunteer instead. Those familiar with Narwhal’s development say the completion of such a technical infrastructure would also be a gift to future Democratic candidates who have struggled to organize political data that has been often arbitrarily siloed depending on which software vendor had primacy at a given moment.

The example used in the story is abortion but choose any issue you like and voters will be targeted with just the line the campaign’s data mining capability already knows will appeal to them. Any message that might put them off is left unsent. Meantime, the President merely keeps up with his vacuous hope and change meme, or something equally empty so that while he appears to be saying something, never says anything so definite that it would put offside anyone unsure of how to vote.

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42 Responses to A message from the President just for you

  1. JC

    Steve:

    Why do you think the GOP or aligned groups are not working on or have something similar?

  2. Steve Kates

    I think they are but this has been trademark Obama from the start. But Obama also has the advantage of being President so that many more link into the Obama website and provide the necessary information.

  3. “this has been trademark Obama from the start.”

    It’s very Axelrodian.

  4. WadeJ

    Wow, how in the world could someone so obviously stupid such as Odumbo lead a team to develop such a sophisticated campaign infrastructure. He must be just the pretty face and good reader of those teleprompters, to allow the evil marxist agenda to be implemented by shadowy evil brains.

    Or maybe he’s actually smart enough to recognize the power of technology and data to help support him and further his agenda. Look out you right wingers he may be here for a little while longer

  5. Oh come on

    Meh. Google targets ads very, very effectively, too.

    Yes that’s right, WadeJ – because no one recognises the power of technology these days, except Obama. But you could be onto something! Maybe the reason why he’s been such an incompetent president is because all this time when he should have been governing effectively, he’s actually been madly coding, creating this system.

    Or, if more realistically, here’s how it really came to be: Obama said to someone “I need something that will help me win in 2012″, and that person went to bunch of uber-computer nerds and said “Hey, you group of high-functioning autistics! Here’s tens of millions of dollars! It’s all yours if you can make me something that will help Obama win!”

    Real executive genius on display there, Wade.

  6. JC

    Lol, you’re right, OCO. Wade thinks Odumbo is sitting in a room full of virgin programer kids helping them develop code and web marketing strategies.

  7. WadeJ

    Not at all guys.

    This is a classic example of fitting your bias to the facts at hand. If Romney had put this kind of effort in place you would all be commending him for showing the leadership to get his targeted message out to his voters. Instead you picture this bumbling fool of a president relying on advisers to get him to his next election, while simultaneously trying to do as little as possible in government and threatening the very foundation of democracy in the Western world.

  8. JC

    Instead you picture this bumbling fool of a president relying on advisers to get him to his next election, ……… and threatening the very foundation of democracy in the Western world.

    Well yea, that’s about right, Wade.

  9. Oh come on

    This is a classic example of fitting your bias to the facts at hand. If Romney had put this kind of effort in place you would all be commending him for showing the leadership to get his targeted message out to his voters.

    Not really, Wade. In fact, it’s you that’s doing the swooning. What you’re talking about is actually pretty pedestrian. In fact, I’m certain Romney* has something similar – if not as extensive – in place.

    The Tories operated a similar kind of system at the last election in the UK which brought several blue ribbon Labour seats in Wales and Scotland into play for the first time since Henry the VIII.

    OK, slight hyperbole at the end there, but what you’re describing is far from groundbreaking. Now go and have a cold shower or some “alone time” to get it out of your system.

    *by the way, you should probably be informed that Romney doesn’t generate enormous levels of enthusiasm ’round these parts, so you’re looking more than a bit silly on a number of levels.

  10. As part of a project code-named Narwhal

    O Great.

    Now I can’t get The Narwahl Song out of my head.

    F**k you very much, Bambi.

  11. Blogstrop

    Let’s get this straight – you could say one thing to the population at large but another thing to the Greens to get them to support you?
    The only clever thing about this concept is the precision targetting. The rest is standard political operational procedure.

  12. .

    This is a classic example of fitting your bias to the facts at hand. If Romney had put this kind of effort in place you would all be

    Laughing our arses off, making the same “leading a team of virgin programmers with programming and web marketing strategies” JIVE.

  13. John Comnenus

    So for the Left aligned, profiling for political gain is good and innovative, but profiling for crime or national security is criminal and racist. Pretty smart operation though. The Leftis always ahead of the curve on propaganda and information manipulation.

  14. 2dogs

    The Onion notes what Obama must do if he is not lose future Democrats voters, given how much debt he has incurred.

  15. Entropy

    The best thing about this technology is it let’s the organisers know which of the dead are more likely to vote democrats.

  16. Winston Smith

    The whole concept relies on the voter being in isolation to the Democrat message.
    That isn’t so.

  17. Les Majesty

    This is a great post.

    If any of the sheepletards needed convincing that Obama is truly Hitlerian, this effort of his to convince people to vote for him in the election should do the trick.

  18. …utterly beyond anything anyone might have conceived…

    Kates is gobsmaked by linked databases; yet people at this blog can’t conceive of AGW being real. Isn’t life strange?

  19. JamesK

    Obummer’s secret cunning plan to win the general election in the fall, is to pray to Allah that SCOTUS shoots down Obummercare in the summer.

    Then Muhammad’s servant on Earth, PBUH can use Narwhal to tell the punters they have nothing to worry about, it was all a big mistake and besides of course the Anointed One supports the First Amendment and move along nothing to see here….

  20. Adrien

    I think they are but this has been trademark Obama from the start.

    True. He’s used the internet better than anyone in the past.

    Why do you think the GOP or aligned groups are not working on or have something similar?

    They will soon enough.

    Then Muhammad’s servant on Earth, PBUH can use Narwhal to tell the punters they have nothing to worry about, it was all a big mistake

    I don;t think James is going to be getting a job on anyone’s electoral campaign any time soon. Unless one of Obama’s people can get him a crucial role on Romney’s staff that is.

  21. .

    If any of the sheepletards needed convincing that Obama is truly Hitlerian, this effort of his to convince people to vote for him in the election should do the trick.

    Wrong. They’d look at how desperate his backers are, like you, in smearing the competition and engaging in real debate.

    Debates will destroy the Teleprompter specialist and affirmative action kid.

  22. JamesK

    Adrien always keeps us on tenderhooks with what he doesn’t write rather than the drivel he does.

    Is a thumbs down to Obummercare by SCOTUS a positive or a negative to Obummer’s re-election prospects?

    Yes or No, please.

    Just so we have Adrien’s position down in black and white rather than pea-soup opacity he loves wallowing in

  23. JamesK

    Yes or no = one or the other

  24. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Oooh. Big Odumbo is Watching You.

    Seems a bit desperate to me. With plenty of propensity to backfire due to technological and human stuff-ups as the wrong message is sent to the wrong person? And as people start comparing notes.

  25. JamesK

    ZeroHedge: In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year

    “Tonight’s stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the “Evil Empire”, Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that “a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.” And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system……….

    And if that wasn’t enough, here is one that will blow your mind:

    If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year.”

  26. .

    Zero Hedge is beta central. Haven’t you been listening to Uncle JC?

  27. JamesK

    Well they don’t seem to approve dot.

    Not like our beta steve, who’d lap it up.

  28. JC

    Zero Hedge is beta central. Haven’t you been listening to Uncle JC?

    You know, longer term I agree with some of what the Russian lunatic has to say about things. Debt, layered over debt is unsustainable and will end in tears. He does have a reasonable thesis.

    But the dude gets off on bad news and his minions are really a mentally disturbed hate-filled bunch of losers.

    There’s a huge difference between predicting economic collapse and getting orgasmic your country is going to fall in the abyss, causing really serious large scale human suffering.

    And the Russian has a serious ax to grind seeing he received a life time ban from working in the US securities markets over issues to do with insider trading.

    It’s a hate site.

    I must say though that he has a really good eye for what is important news. He has a traders instincts.

  29. JC

    James:

    That’s a seriously fucking killer table. That’s why Romney was pushing the argument that he didn’t care about poor or rich people. His main concern was the middle class.

    If the klutz had got the message through, it would not have been drowned out by the negative press he received over the comment.

    The GOP’ers should do their best to ram that table home.

    This is what an out of control welfare state looks like people.

  30. Helen Armstrong

    Bad news travels fast (especially if the MSM are on your side) So my question is, with this huge cross referenced data base, what happens when the wrong abortion (for example) message gets sent out – is it splashed all over? This kind of precision messaging has loads of potential to backfire. And that is without hacking, or employees with a grudge making the antis into pro issues.

    An Aussie example was Flannels, for the kangaroo industry, then for the beef industry and then for the farmers, depending on who he was speaking to. Then some bright spark put it all together and figured he was speaking with forked tongue.

  31. Data mining is fairly well established field at this point. Every company worth its salt is doing it, every political party and so on. Target recently got highlighted for developing a model that could guess who was pregnant and at what stage based on their purchases.

    Back when I was a staffer the coalition were using some gawdawful package for this sort of information. Can’t remember what it’s called. But they could milk a lot of information from it at an electorate level. Every letter received, every conversation on the phone, every contact of any kind, any mention in the newspaper … it all went into the database.

  32. .

    Jacques,

    Do any police agencies do data mining to try and profile those one the run or fugitives etc?

    People’s habits are actually fairly identifying, even if they don’t think so.

  33. .

    I guess I’m saying that this kind of work is like playing a massive game of guess who except you’re matching attributes to someone you know you’re after.

  34. JamesK

    If the klutz had got the message through, it would not have been drowned out by the negative press he received over the comment.

    I quite like Romney but he is politically inept.

    That’s exactly the argument he should make.

    It’s Obummer’s kryptonite garland.

    Santorum has no massive team around him but he fronts up to the media and conservative talk radio and talks about everything thrown at him and is consistent, well informed and has obviously done heaps of policy work since his 2006 defeat.

    He is particularly impressive foreign policywise and Israel is gonna do something this summer cos if Obummer wins a secomd term they will be annhilated either way

    I suspect Santorum entered this race to win a job in a future administration but he can now win the nomination particularly if he wins Michigan.

    If he does then the US primary system works ansd big money doesn’t necessarily win you the nomination

    Romney walks into the msm rake all too often and consequently doesn’t front very often.

    All the MSM can do with Santorum is palinise him but they are fools if they think that’s a winning strategy.

    Romney is stuck ‘cos he can’t even try that sh1t on in the primary.

    Romney needs to stop the small target ruse and come out swinging with some big positive plan rather than baked beanesque inanity of his 57 superficialities and eloquently champion a defence of free market small government liberty and capitalism.

  35. Les Majesty

    Debates will destroy the Teleprompter specialist and affirmative action kid.

    We’ll see about that.

  36. Le Chiffre

    The zero hedge table also shows the unemployment numbers are rigged to turn out more favorably. With such generous Medicaid encouraging people to only work for limited hours it removes them from the unemployed.

  37. JamesK

    Obummer’s cunning plan uses more predicatble methods

    Wash Examiner Beltway Blog:

    Record 19 reporters, media execs join Team Obama

    “For some Washington reporters and media execs, cheering their team from the sidelines just isn’t good enough: Tugging on a red, white and blue Team Obama jersey is the answer.
    That’s the case for a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from the Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into the administration or center-left groups supporting the president.

    Those inside the administration hit 14 this month when the Post’s Stephen Barr joined the Labor Department. That’s a record, say some revolving door watchers, and could even be much higher: The Post reports that “dozens” of former journalists have joined the administration, although Washington Secrets couldn’t verify that tally.”

  38. .

    That’s the case for a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from the Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into the administration or center-left groups supporting the president.

    Not really a surprise.

  39. JamesK

    Gallup:

    The U.S. unemployment rate has managed to creep back up to 9.0 percent.

    Gallup also shows the underemployment rate is at 19.2%.

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