Every election season, I get lots of political mail, mostly from Republicans. I don’t know if that’s because a) I live in Botetourt County, a predominantly Republican-voting county so the GOP considers it a good bet to blanket the county or b) maybe the Republicans just rely more on mailings than the Democrats do. I don’t vote in party primaries, donate money to political candidates, or even take part in polls, so I can’t imagine I’ve done anything to get on either side’s list — other than be your generic registered voter.
So I’ve been very curious this election season to open my mailbox and find it stuffed with mailings from the Romney campaign — all addressed to my 23-year-old daughter.
Romney hasn’t sent me a single mailing, but my daughter (who likewise hasn’t voted in a party primary or been a political activist) is getting several mailings each week.
Are they targeting her because of her age? If you figure younger voters went heavily for Obama last time, then it’s smart politics for the Republicans to try to slice off some of them this time if they can.
Yet most of the pieces she’s been getting don’t appear to target her directly. Instead, she’s gotten multiple pieces such as this one, which arrived yesterday, that focuses on coal mining:
Inside, the flier goes to to say:
* “President Obama is hammering away at American coal.”
* “Barack Obama: Coal Can’t Afford Another Four Years.”
* “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan support American coal.”
Now, I have no idea how my daughter feels about coal — I’ve never asked her. But demographically speaking, umm, is this really the best message to send to a 23-year-old voter in a county that’s several hours away from the nearest coal mine? Or has some mailing house made a mistake — and somehow concluded that Botetourt County must be coal mining country? Granted, you don’t have to live in a coal county to have feelings about coal one way or another, but still . . . it just struck me as not well-targeted.
On the other hand, in addition to yesterday’s coal mailing, she also received this one, which did seem better designed for a 23-year-old female voter:
I thought this was going to be a jobs piece. And it is, sort of, I suppose — but it’s mostly about welfare. Inside, it accuses Obama of “taking the work out of welfare.”
I would have thought a more on-target message would have been about the economy — with Romney making the case that Obama’s policies have hurt, not helped, young adults just entering the workforce.
But so far, she hasn’t seen any mailings that say anything about that.
Does anyone else find this curious? Anyone else getting interesting mailings? Anyone seen an Obama mailing?
– Dwayne Yancey, senior editor