Colin Delany October 26, 2006

NPR: Ken Mehlman on Using Data to Expand the Base

Today on Morning Edition, RNC Chair Ken Mehlman discussed some of the mechanics of using database-driven microtargeting to reach out to new voters. Specifically, he talks about the kinds of consumer choices that can indicate potential Republican leanings (hint: Lincolns and pickup trucks, not Subarus or Volvos). He attributes the Republicans’ doubling of their normal share of the Ohio black vote in the 2004 election to the party’s ability to reach out to the exact voters likely to respond to targeted messages and to not waste time and money on others.

During the interview, Mehlman also shifts responsibility for the “Call Me” anti-Harold Ford ad, which he doesn’t see as race-baiting. The NPR page shows it alongside other noteworthy recent commercials, including the Michael J. Fox stem-cell ad that’s gotten a lot of attention.

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