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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 1, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 1: Political ads that stalk voters wherever they — and their smartphones — go

Polls of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers over the past months suggest that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent haven’t made up their mind about who they’ll support. More of them say they could change their mind.

Given that scenario, don’t be surprised if GOP caucusgoers are getting “advice” from candidates right up until the time they cast their votes Jan. 3.

Emily Schultheis of Politico reports that geo-targeted mobile advertising is the next frontier of political advertising;

Geo-targeted mobile advertising was used by some 2010 campaigns, including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s. Her campaign had an ad to reach the iPhones and Androids of people within a two-mile radius of the Minnesota State Fair. One of the ads was targeted to people buying food at the fairgrounds, reminding them her opponent “voted to raise taxes on your corn dog and your deep-fried bacon and your beer.”

The geo-targeted advertising is becoming more widespread, according to Schultheis, and “offers presidential campaigns an attention-getting new way to stalk voters wherever they may be found — the state fair, the ballgame or the caucus site.”

“On the presidential level, this means targeting ads at primary- and caucusgoers in the days leading up to the election — or even as they’re heading to the polls on Election Day.”

Bachmann also used mobile ads around Hilton Coliseum at the Iowa GOP Straw Poll. Mitt Romney’s campaign has followed suit and the Obama re-election campaign has launched a mobile-optimized site earlier.

The technology of campaigning has come a long way from 2004 when John Kerry backers used hand-held PDAs to show voters video about the Democratic nominee and to record voter information.

Some congressional candidates also have embraced geo-targeted ads. Texas congressional candidate Roger Williams played up his endorsement by Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan in geo-targeted mobile ads at World Series games.

In Florida, former Sen. George LeMieux used mobile ads at a NASA shuttle launch tying his opponent, Sen. Bill Nelson, to the end of the space program.

So it’s probably safe to assume GOP caucusgoers who check their phones the evening of Jan. 3 will be getting more on their smartphones than directions to their precinct gathering sites.

On the calendar:

Dec. 1

Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Nationwide Insurance and sign the Americans for Securing the Border’s Fence by a Date Certain Pledge, Nationwide Cafeteria, Des Moines; 2:45 p.m., Annual Meeting of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, West Des Moines; 7 p.m., Polk County Robb Kelley Victory Club, Johnston

Dec. 3

Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, presidential candidate forum hosted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Dec. 4:

Rick Santorum, 2 p.m., town hall, Sidney Senior Center; 5:30 p.m., Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs

Dec. 5

Rick Santorum, 9:30 a.m., town hall, Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux City; 12:30 p.m., town hall, 4 Brother’s Restaurant, Le Mars; 7:30 p.m., rally, Dordt College Campus Center, Sioux Center

Dec. 7

Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, Republican Jewish Coalition, Washington

Dec. 8

Ron Paul, 1 p.m., employee meeting, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines; 4 p.m., Boone Public Library; 7 p.m., Youth for Ron Paul, Great Hall, Iowa State Memorial Union, Ames

Dec. 9

Ron Paul, 9 a.m., Webster City Fire Station; 1 p.m., Mason City High; 4 p.m., Waverly Public Library; 7 p.m., Youth for Ron Paul, University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union, Slife Ballroom, Cedar Falls

Dec. 10

Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Fisher Community Center, Marshalltown

8 p.m., Des Moines Register/ABC News/Yahoo!/Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Drake University

Dec. 15

Fox News/ Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Sioux City



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