Campaign '04: Technology: What Your Party Knows About You

Howard Dean didn't get it. Al Gore had no clue. The high-tech secret weapon of this election isn't blogging or viral e-mail or any other sexy buzzwords. It's something mundane and under the radar and totally unsexy: data. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have amassed vast secret databases of information about voters, which they jealously guard on the simple theory that the more you know about people, the easier it is to get their vote.

The Republicans began building their database, which they call Voter Vault, back in the mid-1990s. It's no accident they got a head start: Bush adviser...

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