For decades, political campaigns have relied on data to help them achieve victories. Direct mail agencies have always reached out to lists of previous donors to help them fund their next win or to deliver a crucial turnout message. Telemarketing companies use autodialers to reach supporters to remind them how important their vote will be. And door-to-door canvassers consult walk lists to find those homes in a given neighborhood that could mean the difference between a narrow win and a heartbreaking loss.
Hear that? That somber, deep reverberation as the clock strikes midnight? Birds scatter away, leaves scuttle across the pavement and anyone with a TV, Internet connection, a mailbox or social media account groans aloud at the same time.