Fareed Zakaria speaks with New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg about how the two campaigns steered people to vote in this week’s presidential election. For the full interview, watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.
"One of the things that the campaigns have done is they’ve tried to vacuum up everything that they can, " Charles Duhigg tells Fareed Zakaria. "It used to be that when someone was running for office, they would get into the voter file, right? And it would say someone’s name, where they lived and their party affiliation and whether they ever have before.
"Now, each campaign has literally thousands of data points on you. They know what magazines you subscribe to. They know if you've ever declared bankruptcy or gone into foreclosure. They know how many kids you have. They know if you ever bought a boat, what type of insurance you own, where you send your kids to school.
"Thousands and thousands of data points they collect, to try and create an image of you. And at the center of that is the same question, how can I push your button to vote for my guy or gal?"
And what have been the surprising things that are predictive of whether or not you're going to vote, whether you’re likely to be a Republican or a Democrat?
"Well, what's interesting is a lot of it, as you mentioned, is…the other places you go. Like we didn’t know, for instance, that Romney supporters go to Olive Garden and that Obama supporters go to Red Lobster. But knowing that is actually really useful, because that means that Romney can go buy ads inside Olive Gardens and say…if you don't often vote, come out to the polls, because I know you’re going to vote for me.
Zakaria: The coming political drone warfare
"And there’s really two elections going on here, the first of which is to try and persuade people, and the second of which is to try and convince people just to vote.
"Keep in mind, you know, still a majority of Americans don’t actually vote in the presidential election. And so a big goal for Obama and for Romney was just to say we know that if we can get you into the polls, you're going to pull the lever for me guy. I just want to convince you get into that polling station."
I think that it is worthy of note that in the past 2, if not 4, years, the GOP has been making decisions, as if Obama is not popular and that all they need to do is wait it out until 2012 with uncooperative behavior. Here is some advice: You are an American, honor your president.
I think Republicans need to target the democrats that do work for them and fire them. Share the pain. If they want everything for free this way they will be eligible for more government programs. Help them accelerate ruining heir lives a little faster like the Democrap Party wants!
Alot of americans should be ashamed,how can you not vote? I guess some people are fed up with politics.
"How Campaigns target voters?"
More Money = more voters.
Less Money = less voters.
However, one should know how and when to convince voters.
I like Olive Garden and jazz and I do not like football and Red Lobster – I guess that makes me an undecided, swing voter – which I am.
Swing dance to some good Jazz and forget about the election. The election is over. It's time to dance.
This new campaign pratice is per se effective, but it's also a double-edged sword. If it gets too aggressive, it will only hurt oneself, by turning people off.
The Global Public Square is where you can make sense of the world every day with insights and explanations from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, leading journalists at CNN, and other international thinkers. Join GPS editor Jason Miks and get informed about global issues, exposed to unique stories, and engaged with diverse and original perspectives.
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Check out all of Fareed's Washington Post columns here:
Obama as a foreign policy president?
Why Snowden should stand trial in U.S.
Hillary Clinton's truly hard choice
China's trapped transition
Obama should rethink Syria strategy
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