Election 2004 - IT on the Campaign Trail

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

The biggest benefit for the Democrats is that for the first time, the national and state parties are working from the same data, says Moskowitz. She contends the Democrats can compete even if they don’t all have access to the latest tools. Most major campaigns, and the state parties, have people on staff with experience using databases, she says, and these operatives don’t need the user-friendly interfaces. But she concedes the importance of accessibility. "If you make [the data] more accessible, it’s more likely people will use it," she says, including volunteers in the field who aren’t expert data analysts.

The 2004 Race

The key to winning the presidency this year, predicts Moskowitz, will be how effectively the major parties and their candidates conduct niche marketing campaigns. "It’s going to be mobilization of lots of small universes," she says. "This set of Hispanic voters in New Mexico, and that set of African-American voters in Michigan and nonmarried women in Pennsylvania. That is going to equal mass mobilization."

The expectation of both parties is that their investment in data at the national level will benefit a whole slate of candidates, not just the presidential contenders. "In developing resources on things like direct voter contact, that helps things across the board for the entire ticket," says the RNC’s Ellis.

Ellis is deploying wireless capability for field workers this year, so they’ll be able to access the Voter Vault application with a PDA and download a list of voters to contact in their door-knocking campaigns. But he says his major initiative will be to update the millions of records in the database with the latest information about new voter registrations, and changes in address and voting history provided through local election records. Like the Republicans, the Democrats will also keep updating their records so that they have accurate lists in the critical days before the election.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Download CIO's Winter 2021 digital issue: Supercharging IT innovation