Stories

Report: 2020 campaigns want access to supporters' phone contacts

This illustration shows a yard sign that reads "This is John with the campaign, be sure to get out and VOTE TODAY!"
Illustration: Axios Visuals/Aïda Amer

Democratic and Republican 2020 campaigns are using apps like Team to identify potential voters from their supporters' phone contacts, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: As Twitter refines its ban on political ads and Google restricts audience targeting for verified political advertisers, relational organizing apps can offer campaigns a work-around to access supporters' social networks.

The big picture: These relational organizing apps rely on willing supporters volunteering their data — while other techniques, like geofencing, anonymously scrub a voters' location after they attend a rally to create targeted ads.

  • How it works: Through a relational organizing app, a campaign can ask a supporter to send tailored pre-written text messages to their friends, using information the campaign has already collected and fitted to their preferences, the FT reports.

Go deeper: New way to track voters: Their smartphones