DEMOCRATIC COMPUTER WOES….Tapped links today to a (subscription only) Roll Call story about problems the Democratic party is having updating its ancient and creaky computer systems. Given the importance of database marketing these days, you’d think that modernizing these systems would be a slam dunk priority, but apparently not:

The huge database, containing an estimated 150 million voters and known within the party as “Demzilla,” has become a sore spot for some state parties and interest groups who say they were not adequately consulted during its development.

This sounds like a familiar story to me. The company I used to work for relied on a network of distributors and resellers, and they were all fantastically protective about sharing customer names. Their fear was that we would send out marketing material that would, somehow, cause them problems (perhaps announcing an upgrade that they weren’t yet ready to support, for example).

I imagine something similar is at work here, with state Democratic parties afraid that the national committee will send out a mass mailing that offends Dems in their particular state, or that they will poach donors who might otherwise donate money directly to the state committees.

These fears have to be taken into account, but fundamentally TAPPED is right:

Past experience shows that only parties with big, up-to-date voter databases are capable of waging and winning effective, coordinated national campaigns. Let’s hope the state party chairs get their heads out of their arses.

Like it or not, big, modern, centralized voter databases and marketing operations are the lifeblood of politics today. The state Democratic parties need to realize that.