The Democrats and the institutional left have a new political tool that allows them virtually to ignore moderates yet still win elections.
This tool, the Catalist database, was employed in the 2012 election. That election defied conventional wisdom: Mitt Romney sought and won independent voters overwhelmingly, but still lost. If you wondered why the conventional wisdom about independents and moderates didn’t seem so wise in 2012, the answer is Catalist.
Beyond winning elections, Catalist also allows the Democrats to turn the policy narrative upside down and suffer no political consequence for implementing radical policies which appeal to their base. The Obama administration’s lurch to the far left without consequence can be understood by understanding Catalist. Obama thrives politically by satisfying his base. Simply, Catalist is a game changer not just for politics, but for policy. It is the left’s machinery for fundamentally transforming America.
And candidates, organizations, strategists, and consultants who do not understand what they are up against in Catalist risk being overrun.
The article doesn’t mention it, but from what I’ve been able to find out, Catalist is fed by two sources: NGP VAN and ACT BLUE.
Republicans have nothing like this and the ones being told about this monster seem to not give a damn. That’s disturbing.
Now, consider one data set this apparatus is missing: Future voters.
Where would they get such data?
I can think of at least one big place. Common Core requires states create a Statewide Longitudinal Database System (SLDS). This is not tin foil hat thinking, it’s kind of obvious. So obvious Congress is looking into the topic.
States will tell you that identifiable data is not given to third parties, but Catalist doesn’t need that identifier because it can fill in the blanks on its own. Think about the multitude of apps, tests and social media your kids use. It’s not hard to pull them into the fold. Education data is the easiest to mine and the deepest right now.