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Friday, November 04, 2005

An Audience of One

One of the vocabulary terms I've been speaking to my students about recently is "narrowcasting". Narrowcasting is a process of selecting which people to contact based on their interest in one particular issue. For example, if I find out that you only care about abortion issues when voting, I'd be a bit stupid to send you a big hunk of tax cut info. It's better to figure out exactly what motivates you and only give you enough information to decide to support me (or my candidate).

With that in mind, it makes sense that Doug Forrester spent a few million bucks putting on an ad campaign featuring his wife. Why? Because it was probably the most extreme form of narrowcasting possible - he was aiming at an audience of one.

Joanne Corzine.

And it worked.

Ms. Corzine actually got tired of seeing the endless slew of commercials featuring her husband of 33 years giving a hefty loan to his girlfriend and then forgiving the balance. She actually got tired of the endless character attacks of politics long ago. When Doug Forrester has supporters like these it isn't hard to understand why, either.

It's the same reason why my students think anyone who goes into politics must be doing so for illicit reasons. It's why they, and half of all voters in America, stay home on election day. It's a sad way to win elections, and an even sadder way to lose one. It's no way to participate in a democracy.

It's also a damn poor way to blog.

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