The Obama presidential campaign is launching an effort to collect Republican email addresses by inviting its supporters to submit information about their Republican associates to the Obama 2012 website.
The effort could help the Obama campaign build a database that would enable it to target Republican voters during the general election campaign. But, more perniciously, it could also become part of an Democratic effort to influence Republican primary voters to select a candidate Democrats think Obama could most easily defeat.
The Democratic National Committee last month released a video that seemed designed to damage Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate feared most by the Obama campaign.
The Obama information collection effort is cast under the mischievous guise of asking Obama supporters to “have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life” by signing them up to get an email from the Obama campaign ribbing them for having “inspired” the Obama supporter to donate.
The result, however, is that the Obama campaign gets a new trove of Republican email addresses that it could never have collected through voluntary submissions.