Billionaire backed activists aiming to oust Obama through online tools targeting swing state voters

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 19, 2012 09:30 hrs

A non-profit social welfare organization, Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party-aligned group partly funded by billionaire Koch brothers, is building a 'state-of-the-art' digital ground operation in Ohio and other vital battleground states to spread its anti-Obama message to voters.

The group hopes that by creating a 'local army of activists' equipped with sophisticated online tools it will increase its impact on moderate voters by pushing them towards a staunchly conservative position opposed to President Barack Obama's economic and healthcare policies.

In Ohio, volunteers are given a script which they follow when engaging with voters.

"President Obama took office three years ago and promised to fix our economy," they said, adding: "Yet unemployment is still high and our debt is up to $6tn".

According to the Guardian, the AFP has already spent 30 million dollars so far this election in opposing Obama and other prominent Democratic candidates and their policies.

AFP's ground operation in Ohio and other states is built around an interactive online network that links its volunteers with a centralized database of information on millions of American voters.

The database, called Themis after the Greek god of wisdom, was created with the help of money from the Kochs.

The database draws information on voters from a range of public and commercial sources to create a profile of their likely political behaviour.

What you buy on Amazon; the magazines your subscribe to; your friends on Facebook; your age, neighbourhood, occupation and house value; what petitions you have signed; what church you belong to; whether or not you own a gun - all such data points and many more go towards the creation of your personal, albeit anonymous, voter file, the report said.

That, in turn, allows AFP activists to micro-target households with a level of precision that could only be dreamed about in previous generations, it added.

They are also equipped with the latest phone banking technology through which they have made 400,000 calls to Ohio's voters since May, it added.

With the presidential race tightening across the country in the wake of Obama's widely denounced performance in the first TV debate earlier this month, all eyes have turned to Ohio, which Romney must win if he is to have a fighting chance of taking the White House. No Republican candidate in history has won the presidency without bagging Ohio's electoral college votes that today stand at 18 out of the 270 needed for victory.(ANI)

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