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Opinion

Opinion

Saturday Column: Obama voter data a valuable campaign commodity

November 2, 2013

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Although President Obama has three-plus years before he vacates the Oval Office, there is increasing speculation about what he will do after serving as the world’s most powerful individual.

It’s an almost sure bet he will work on a highly compensated book project outlining his presidency or his view of the world. He will work on raising private funds for an Obama presidential library. He will be invited to be the face of several high-profile social or charitable projects and may join the Bush-Clinton team that has played such a positive role in focusing public attention and urging fiscal support to help meet the needs of those suffering from natural disasters or medical challenges, etc.

But, in addition to these projects or opportunities, it is likely he will continue to do what he can, either behind the scenes or out front, to further his agenda to bring about fundamental changes in America.

How will he do this? He’ll work to get those who endorse and share his agenda, those who believe the American system of capitalism takes unfair advantage of the “middle class,”

elected to the U.S. House and Senate and into governors’ offices.

The Obama election team put together the nation’s most complete, most sophisticated and most effective voter identification information bank and then used the most knowledgeable pollsters to get out voters who supported the Obama presidential candidacy in 2008. No one, Republican or Democrat, had ever seen such an effective, well-financed information bank and campaign effort. It steam-rolled the opposition.

This same, but even better-organized and better-financed strategy, was used in the 2012 election and, even in the face of several major negative issues, Obama won four more years in the White House.

The most valuable asset for any Democrat running for elective office in 2014 and 2016 would be access to the Obama voter data and volunteer information bank. It’s almost a priceless election tool.

Neither the Republican National Committee nor any other GOP organization has anything matching the Obama voter information bank or the list of names and addresses for thousands upon thousands of volunteers who worked on behalf of the Obama election effort.

Already, Democratic office seekers and probably many Democratic incumbents facing an election are jockeying to figure out how they might access the Obama information bank to help them in their 2014 or 2016 election efforts. It’s worth millions of dollars and has proved its effectiveness.

In addition to the data banks, the pollsters who mined this information and turned faceless numbers and names into voters and contributors are in high demand.

The Virginia governor’s race has attracted considerable attention, and Democratic contender Terry McAuliffe has hired one of the “number crunching” firms active in the Obama campaign to help steer his gubernatorial effort.

The pollsters and what they learned from the past two presidential elections are important, but the real treasure is the information bank controlled by Obama insiders.

Obama’s desire to make fundamental changes in America is not going to stop when he vacates the White House. He will want those who share his plan to change America to remain in office and will want his Democratic acolytes seeking election for the first time to win their races for the House, Senate and governors’ offices.

It will be interesting to know the cost or price tag of gaining access to the Obama voter data. There’s no question that the Paul Davis and Jill Docking Democratic ticket for the Kansas governorship would like to have the Obama information base, but what’s the price they will have to pay? Chances are, Obama officials, as well as candidates being granted access to the information bank, will want to maintain secrecy, not acknowledge they are using Obama assets to win election. Nevertheless, those who do use this valuable asset apparently will have agreed to continue to champion the Obama effort to change America.

This raises a question. What’s more important in the minds of those using the Obama data bank: getting elected or what’s best for the country?

There’s an additional facet of the Obama influence on upcoming elections. Increasing numbers of Obama critics are questioning the federally financed plan to pay “navigators” to provide help and information to those trying to figure out the complicated Obamacare health plan. These critics suggest the navigators or advisers could be encouraging those with whom they visit to be sure to register to vote, and the vast personal information collected through the health care application process could be funneled into the Obama information bank.

Who knows?

Regardless, Obama is sure to use every means to help elect like-minded candidates in the 2014 and 2016 elections. Time will tell, but it will be interesting to measure the level of his influence, effectiveness and power after he leaves the presidency. Who will be allowed to use, or buy, his invaluable information bank to help advance the Obama dream for America?

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