In what should be a predictable turn of events for Rand Paul followers, Paul has refused to use GOP big data services, and is electing, like with so many things, to choose competition and free enterprise. Serious Republican candidates will usually purchase large amounts of compiled voter and supporter information from the RNC in order to target their campaign marketing, and will in turn provide additional information to that database should they get it.
However, that sort of thing might have worked well back in the days of punch cards and vacuum tubes, but not everyone in the modern conservative movement favor GOP big data, and are turning to competing databases. The Koch brothers maintain an information gathering service which is more nimble, flexible and doesn’t aid, as Paul puts it “becoming part of the Washington machine.”
Digital outreach and databases are important to a successful campaign. We saw President Obama ride the wave of expertly managed outreach efforts using advanced databases, and any serious presidential contender must look to duplicate that effort. Koch competition to the established RNC database worries the old guard and Washington elite. It is well known that whoever masters the data of potential voters and supporters can take an election.
As long as the RNC can maintain a tight grip over useful data, it can control entire elections, but by creating a competing database, suddenly the power of data is unleashed to anyone who asks for it. This folks is competition, and the kind of competition that Rand Paul is looking for. Paul is bucking the old party line, and the old party ways. The RNC has become hidebound, stubborn and entrenched in Washington power plays, and is terrified at the prospect of losing control.
Rand Paul wants to bring new, younger voters into the folds of the Republican party, a tall task given how the conservative right is seen by many younger voters who are catered to by the left. If Paul is to successfully transform the GOP, and infuse it with vibrant, young voters with fresh new ideas that can change the direction America is heading, he needs to not have his data controlled by the very people who his principals threaten.
By choosing the competition to GOP big data services, Paul is sending a message to the RNC and to the nation. You can’t bind him with old methods, and the established machine. Instead, he is kicking the old guard to the curb, and lighting a path to a better America by using the competition and ingenuity that makes America so great. He who controls the data controls the votes. What do you think? Should the data feud between the GOP and Koch brothers end in the interests of Republican unity? Is Paul right to break with tradition and get his data from outside services? Tell us what you think on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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