It seemed to be pretty accurate for my experience and tastesLet the Nanotargeting Begin
By THOMAS B. EDSALL
Over the past decade, political campaigns, interest groups and a network of private companies have developed sophisticated tools to target tinier and tinier fractions of the electorate. Campaigns now have access to the voting histories, housing values, recreational preferences, automobile ownership and television and Internet viewing habits of individuals. The explosion of consumer data derived primarily from credit card usage and Nielsen ratings has become a powerful weapon in the hands of politicos.
Especially at the presidential level, but also in Senate and House contests, microtargeting – the term of art for the acquisition of this kind of detailed information about specific individuals, including not only your political preferences and your likelihood of voting, but also other seemingly less political facts, like the clothes you buy, the movies you go to, the brands you prefer and the number of bedrooms in your home — has come into its own. Compiling this information has given added firepower to almost every aspect of campaigns, from decisions about which television show to run ads on, to the content of targeted emails, to the selection of which houses volunteers should visit.
Advances in the speed of computers and constantly improved software have created, in just over a decade, the development of a new political industry, nanotargeting — microtargeting to the nth degree. There has been excellent reporting on the innovative work of this industry, along with debunking of excessive claims.
Parsing data gives politicians and their campaigns ways to identify and communicate with segments of the electorate that would have been out of reach not long ago.