Maintaining these data files and developing strategies for using the information in the best way possible is expensive, but experts say the return on investment is greater than the television ads that have dominated American campaigns for nearly sixty years.
"It can start to add up, but it is pittance compared to advertising on television or advertising on other outlets," says Costas Panagopoulos, a political science professor at Fordham University. "Investing in micro targeting is incredibly inexpensive."
"Data Trust is going state-by-state now and enhancing the voter files with commercial files," says Chad Kolton, a spokesman for Data Trust. "It was very possible that we could have fallen behind if we didn't invest in the resources to keep this data current. That is what this effort is designed to do."
Both sides of the aisle hope these costly efforts pay off at the ballot box.
"We are going to be doing enough to be competitive with the Obama campaign," promises Kirstin Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC. "We have to keep up with the changes, and we are."
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