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Formation 2006
Founder Harold M. Ickes
Type For-profit corporation
Methods Microtargeting

Catalist is a for-profit corporation based in Washington D. C. that operates a voter database.[1] It was founded in 2006 by Harold M. Ickes with seed money from George Soros. It specializes in microtargeting for Democratic political campaigns.[2]

Catalist's CEO is Laura Quinn, an economic policy advisor in the U.S. Senate and former Deputy Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore.

In August, 2016 Catalist analyzed records from 10 battleground states through June and found a major influx of new voters, majority-white, were responsible for the record-breaking turnout in the Republican primaries.[3][4] A collaboration between Catalist and SurveyMonkey showed that Sanders supporters voted less frequently and were less reliably Democratic than Clinton supporters.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, Catalist served as the principal repository of Democratic data, working with over 90 liberal groups including the Service Employees International Union, the Democratic National Committee, and the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign.[1]

Catalist has engaged in data mining on behalf of clients such as Rock the Vote and EMILY's List.[5] Catalist receives funding from the Democracy Alliance.[6]

In 2016, Catalist received a $725,000 donation from the American Federation of Teachers, a major teachers union.[7]


  1. ^ a b Ambinder, Marc (October 5, 2009). "Exclusive: How Democrats Won The Data War In 2008". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Knight, Robert (September 19, 2014). "Catalist, the left's secret electoral weapon, outguns GOP". Washington Times. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Donald Trump's Great White Hope Is Fading Fast". Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  4. ^ Tau, ron (2016-08-23). "Voter Influx Appears Missing for Trump". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  5. ^ Issenberg, Sasha (January 30, 2012). "For Sale: Detailed Voter Profiles". Slate. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (November 14, 2013). "Groups Mobilize to Aid Democrats in '14 Data Arms Race". New York Times. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Berman, Richard (2016-08-15). "If your child's school is failing, thank a union | Fox News". Retrieved 2016-08-24.