Government

Data analysis, phone apps and social media are rapidly changing political campaigns

A city council candidate walks a neighborhood, looking for votes.

In her hand is a smartphone with a special app, blinking now as she approaches your home.

She taps the icon. In an instant, she knows your name and much more. Your earnings, education, religion, the groups you belong to, the magazines you buy. Your party affiliations. Your past emails on political issues.

Where your kids go to school and which TV shows you watch. What you paid for your home. The last time you met at the coffee shop.

The detailed digital profile makes her conversation easy, even friendly. Taxes for you. Schools next door. Law enforcement down the street.

Some houses can be skipped: no potential votes here, the phone says. That vision or a version of it is popping up in political campaigns across the country.

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