The Associated Press says the data-mining uses purchasing history and church attendance to find wealthy donors who haven't given to the campaign before.
The project shows that the same strategies corporations use to influence the way we shop and think are now being used to influence presidential elections. The same personal information that we give away, often unwittingly when we swipe our credit cards or log into Facebook, is now being collected by the people who might one day occupy the White House.
The project relies upon a sophisticated analysis by powerful computers of thousands of commercially available, expensive databases that are lawfully bought and sold behind the scenes by corporations, including details about credit accounts, families and children, voter registrations, charitable contributions, property tax records and survey responses. It combines marketing data with what is known in this specialized industry as psychographic information about Americans.
An early test analyzed details of more than 2 million households near San Francisco and elsewhere on the West Coast and identified thousands of people who would be comfortably able and inclined to give Romney at least $2,500 or more.