Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Margaret Brabant


The original intent of this work was slightly different than what follows. In an effort to provide information on the current state of micro targeting, 1 had planned to research the campaign tactics of the 2012 Obama and Romney presidential campaigns in Ohio. This goal quickly became unattainable due to time restrictions and a lack of available interviewees. Several requests for interviews went unanswered, and state political parties were not able to provide adequate information on the efforts of the campaigns. Through searching the Internet for information on campaign officials responsible for the Ohio presence of the Romney and Obama campaigns, I found that many of them have now gone into the private sector, working for firms which specialize in targeted messaging for non-profits or other entities. Their transition into the private sector demonstrates the increasing economic and political values of targeting based upon personal information, and could provide one explanation for their hesitance to provide an interview. Additionally, Eitan Hersh, a researcher whom I was able to reach via email and whose work I have utilized, informed me that little scholarly work has been done demonstrating the evolution of political targeting from its infancy to modern state, stating that 2012 data was going to be especially scarce I. Hersh himself was actually involved in a study paid for by the Obama for America campaign in an attempt to better understand the intricacies of their strategy and how it worked. The fact that the campaign itself felt the need to pay for this study perhaps demonstrates the relatively new strategies and teclmology at hand. This newness has caused me to change my focus to what microtargeting is, what led to its usage, and important factors impacting its future implementation.