Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Election Spurs Sale of Valuable Voter, Donor Data

One way presidential hopefuls raise money for 2016, and pay off debts from prior campaigns, is to rent out valuable voter and donor data. And that's a boon for other candidates and causes. "A lot of folks that ran in 2012, their lists are on the market," Ryan Meerstein, senior director for Client Strategy at Targeted Victory, a Republican tech firm, recently confirmed to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper. Targeted Victory, for example, paid $1.1 million to rent list data from Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid. GOP presidential bidder Rick Santorum has earned nearly $281,000 by renting supporter lists from his 2012 election effort, while 2012 GOP also-ran Newt Gingrich has earned $434,000 off supporter lists. The most coveted data, campaign pros told the Pittsburgh newspaper, includes the personal contact information of campaign donors. Also desirable are lists of supporters "willing to turn an online action into an offline action," such as attending a rally or posting a lawn sign, added Meerstein. Of course, national candidates are not the only source of valuable political data. On the market are voters by city, state and local campaign, members of special-interest and advocacy groups, and donors to a range of politically relevant causes, with many of those lists selectable for party affiliation. Political lists are rented via data brokers, like Beyond Voter Lists, the article notes. But we would add that a good broker will help candidates and causes avoid the problems also cited in the newspaper article, such as overuse and poor targeting, by checking usage history and making sure list data is updated and matched with client targeting. See http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2015/06/01/Political-fundraising-campaigns-manage-debts-by-selling-data/stories/201506010025

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