DNC gets Obama campaign treasure chest

President Obama's campaign will transfer voter data, turnout models, and information about supporters who volunteered on behalf of the president to the Democratic National Committee, in a move Democrats say will boost the party's efforts ahead of the midterm elections.

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The decision to turn over the data to the DNC comes despite initial discussions about creating an external corporation to house the Obama campaign data.

Those deliberations had sparked concern that the committee may have been prevented from full access to the modeling and data systems widely credited with helping propel the president to two consecutive victories.

"It's a big get for us," said a DNC official. "This is a treasure trove of information we'll be able to utilize."

The official said that early discussions "may not have enabled the DNC" to use some of the campaign's information, but that the agreement was "a good-case scenario for us."

The DNC believes that the volunteer data, in particular, will help Democratic candidates looking to rally support in off-year elections. Voter profiles that indicate how and when individuals voted in the past can also help campaigns target solid Democratic voters who might not otherwise turn out in a non-presidential year.

"The single most informed predictor of people's voting habits is their previous election data, so when you have their voting history and that information, it's incredibly powerful," the official said.

Not included in the turnover — first reported by Politico — is the Obama campaign's email list, considered by some campaign strategists as the crown jewel of the Obama data effort.

There was concern that if the email list was gifted to the committee, outside political groups — and specifically Organizing for Action (OFA), the nonprofit policy organization born from the president's reelection effort — would be legally unable to access it.

The DNC and other campaign committees — including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — will be able to access the email list under the new agreement but will not take ownership.

The DNC official also said the committee may be using the email list increasingly for its own fundraising efforts.

That could help to calm tensions between OFA and the DNC, which has complained that the unprecedented creation of a political advocacy group to support the president outside of the party was hurting fundraising efforts.

Earlier this week, Obama appeared on a conference call organized by OFA to rally more than 200,000 supporters after the botched rollout of his healthcare law. Included in the link to sign up was a plea to donate to the outside group.

The president will help raise cash for the DNC with a swing of fundraisers next week, including events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

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