Campaigns chew on cookies to see if you watch porn

Both the Romney and Obama campaigns are reportedly going to be calling you, armed with a huge knowledge of what you do and where you go online.

Am I in what? Or should that be into what? Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Is he one of us?

That's the question both the Romney and Obama campaigns will be asking as election time rolls near.

Every last vote will count. Every last nuance will matter in determining which candidate will steer America through the next four joyous years.

So how are the campaigns trying to identify those who might be on their side? Why, cookies.

According to the New York Times, many, many voters can look forward to calls from campaign workers who will, for once, be armed with very personal details about their targets' predilections.

The Times boldly declares that these callers will know...

...details like whether voters may have visited pornography Web sites, have homes in foreclosure, are more prone to drink Michelob Ultra than Corona or have gay friends or enjoy expensive vacations.

The belief, apparently, is that the more information they have, the more these insidious intruders can find ways to persuade people to actually vote. ("You're a Michelob man? 72 percent of Michelob men vote before noon, so that they can go off drinking afterwards.")

Because, you see, the candidates themselves aren't doing such a fine job.

The campaign workers seem conscious that what they are doing might seem a trifle inhuman.

One Romney operative told the Times: "You don't want your analytical efforts to be obvious because voters get creeped out."

How thoughtful.

I still have some questions, though. Will their thinking be so linear that they will assume that those who watch more porn are likely to be Democrats? Because, well, Democrats have far loosier, goosier morals than do Republicans?

What, indeed, if they discover a Republican who is an obsessive porn-gazer? Will they tell him to repent by voting?

Here's an interesting quote from a consultant who works on the Democratic side: "I've had half-a-dozen conversations with third parties who are wondering if this is the year to start shaming."

Shaming? They're going to confront you with personal information -- in a subtle way, naturally -- and then shame you into voting? This ought to be fun.

Let's pretend that such modern digital analysis is an excellent thing for democracy. Let's assume that the more personal a political party can be, the more people will appreciate its ministrations.

You know, like Amazon and Netflix always, always recommending the right books and movies for you.

So let's have the moderators at the next presidential debate be armed with the more personal details of the candidates. Does the President read the Drudge Report or Perez Hilton? Does Governor Romney pore over the Huffington Post and TMZ? And, most importantly, has either of them ever been to YouPorn?

It's well-known, you see, that we vote for the candidates who are most like us. So if the parties know so much about us, shouldn't we know as much about the candidates?

It's only, well democratic, isn't it?

 

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