Monday, December 14, 2015

Ted Cruz, used car salesman, heavy user of data analytics, becomes what you want, and you want, and you and you and you

From the story here:

To build its data-gathering operation widely, the Cruz campaign hired Cambridge Analytica, a Massachusetts company reportedly owned in part by hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, who has given $11 million to a super PAC supporting Cruz. Cambridge, the U.S. affiliate of London-based behavioral research company SCL Group, has been paid more than $750,000 by the Cruz campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.

To develop its psychographic models, Cambridge surveyed more than 150,000 households across the country and scored individuals using five basic traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. A top Cambridge official didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Cruz campaign officials said the company developed its correlations in part by using data from Facebook that included subscribers’ likes. That data helped make the Cambridge data particularly powerful, campaign officials said. ...

Cambridge, which has staffers embedded in the Cruz for President headquarters in Houston, makes behavioral psychologists available for consultation as ads and scripts are drafted. ...

The campaign’s big data operation is not deployed in just voter and supporter outreach. It also is used daily to help make key decisions — where Cruz should travel, what he should say. It has even informed the selection of precinct captains.

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