As many Libertarian leaders check this site, I'd like to direct them to an excellent Washington Post article that highlights the interest of a Democratic Party faction in developing better data mining techniques.
Why are they interested? For the same reasons we should be. From the Post article:
The pressure on Democrats to begin more aggressive "data mining" in the hunt for votes began after the 2002 midterm elections and intensified after the 2004 presidential contest, when the GOP harnessed data technology to powerful effect.
In 2002, for the first time in recent memory, Republicans ran better get-out-the-vote programs than Democrats. When well done, such drives typically raise a candidate's Election Day performance by two to four percentage points. Democrats have become increasingly fearful that the GOP is capitalizing on high-speed computers and the growing volume of data available from government files and consumer marketing firms -- as well as the party's own surveys -- to better target potential supporters.
The Republican database has allowed the party and its candidates to
tailor messages to individual voters and households, using information
about the kind of magazines they receive, whether they own guns, the churches they attend, their incomes, their charitable contributions and their voting histories.
This makes it possible to specifically address the issues of voters who, in the case of many GOP supporters, may oppose abortion, support gun rights or be angry about government use of eminent domain to take private property. A personalized pitch can be made during door-knocking, through direct mail and e-mail, and via phone banks.
(Emphasis is mine.)
This is an area where Libertarians could capitalize. The GOP is targeting eminent domain angered voters? Republican officials instigate as many eminent domain grabs as do Democrats. Mitch Daniels and NK Hurst, anyone? Republicans curtail 2nd Amendment rights as fast as Democrats. Etc.
I am pleased that the Libertarian Party of Indiana is taking this seriously, as shown in our recent County Chairs Convention. A 2% or 4% bump could make a huge difference for us county to county in the SoS race, where ballot ranking and other status issues are resolved.
I hope other LP state affiliates also get deeply involved with database development- especially those states that struggle to earn and keep ballot access