Jewish voters received a pamphlet about Israel's fight with Hezbollah. Spanish speakers heard radio ads about Fidel Castro. Seniors got recorded telephone calls from crooner Pat Boone, now 72, about Social Security.
As Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) fights to keep his seat in Congress, he is drawing heavily from the Republican playbook of dividing voters by their backgrounds and interests and appealing to them with tailored pitches. His success -- along with his party's hopes for hanging onto its congressional majorities -- relies in part on databases and search tools used to identify sympathetic voters and move them to the polls.