Which is why I found this article that Yahoo picked up from Politico so interesting. I think it does a good job of showing the importance of auditing data, segmentation and thinking outside the box when targeting. Here are some excerpts:
In the past two presidential cycles, the Republican national voter file allowed them to more efficiently locate, communicate with and galvanize voters. Democrats, by comparison, relied on a disjointed compilation of national and state party data files that varied widely in quality.
…[as] George W. Bush sought reelection, consumer data enabled the GOP to locate regular churchgoers who were not Republican, as well as identify a group of Hispanic mothers particularly supportive of the No Child Left Behind law.
Burns voters were also more likely to participate in outdoor activities, gardening, investing, to be religious contributors and to have an interest in golf. Tester voters were more interested in health products and more likely to have a retail credit card.