The Atlantic has a fascinating story about all the technology available to the Romney and Obama campaigns this year, including the ability to micro-target voters based on their preferences. The article details some of the ways your preferences are identified by the campaign:
Among other points, the policy says the campaign can monitor users' messages and emails between members, share their personal information with any like-minded organization it chooses, and follow up by sending them news it deems they'd find worthwhile. In other words, target anger points. Then there's something called "passive collection," which means cookies -- lots and lots of cookies. Obama's campaign, as well as third-party vendors working with, spray trackers so other websites can flash personalized ads based on knowledge of the trip to barackobama.com. And finally, near the end of the policy, comes one more caveat: "Nothing herein restricts the sharing of aggregated or anonymized information, which may be shared with third parties without your consent."
Romney's site apparently wants even more from its visitors, asking users who login with Facebook to "post on (their) behalf" and "access (their) data any time" they're not using the application. You can deny both functions.
Romney has been using the technology to target different voters on the web. We're living in the future!
Did you know that Republican voters drink Diet Dr. Pepper while apathetic Democrats drink 7up? Politically active Republicans visit FoxNews.com (you don't say) while disinterested Democrats visit MTV.com and dating websites (not going to make any jokes).
Anyway, if you click on the image above, you'll see that election technologists have figured out how restaurant preference correlates with voting patterns. As the parents of young children, we rarely get out to eat, much less to those chain restaurants we'd have to drive to the suburbs to get.
I'd say that Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread and McDonalds are the three I've gone to in the last year. Which means that election technologists would peg me as either Democratic skewed with a lower chance for turning out or Republican skewed with a higher chance for turning out.
They'll never figure me out!