Joseph Ax

Joseph Ax is a reporter for The Record in New Jersey.

Recent Articles

Micro Machines

When Yair Ghitza first sat down with me this spring, he exhibited the kind of hopeful enthusiasm for politics one might expect from a 25-year-old whose Washington experience could still be measured in months. The computer science major from MIT, who got his start in politics as a 2004 Democratic National Convention volunteer, is an analyst at Copernicus Analytics, a political firm that specializes in campaign "microtargeting." Sitting in front of a computer in a Washington, D.C., office, Ghitza brought up a PowerPoint slideshow chronicling the work Copernicus did for Tim Kaine during his successful run for the Virginia governorship last year. One slide depicted Loudoun County, one of the seven "battleground" counties targeted by the campaign and one in which Republican candidates have historically polled well. The county went for Bush 56 percent to 44 percent in 2004; Kaine won Loudoun by five points in 2005. Before 2002, campaigns relied largely on a tried-and-true methodology --...