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Activists target Colorado in “ground game” fight

One potential explanation is that get-out-the-vote operations are much cheaper than television and, given advances in campaign record-keeping, canvassers can focus their attention on the homes of likely supporters.

"To put all your eggs in the broadcast basket means that hundreds of thousands of voters won't hear your message," said Mitch Stewart, who led the effort in so-called "battleground states" for President Barack Obama during the 2012 campaign.

Now consulting with the Environmental Defense Fund, Stewart is part of the group's $2 million drive this year to get 100,000 Colorado residents to pledge to vote.

"The goal is to increase turnout with a specific group of millennials" who care about climate change, he said. And if this "test run" of voter "data targeting" is successful, officials with the Environmental Defense Fund said they plan to replicate the effort nationwide.

"If you want to be impactful as an organization, you have to use 21st-century tactics," Stewart said.

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