Rather than dispatching troops to knock on doors in neighborhoods known to be heavily Republican, Mr. Mehlman said, the Bush campaign studied consumer habits in trying to predict whom people would vote for in a presidential election.
"We did what Visa did," Mr. Mehlman said. "We acquired a lot of consumer data. What magazine do you subscribe to? Do you own a gun? How often do the folks go to church? Where do you send your kids to school? Are you married?
"Based on that, we were able to develop an exact kind of consumer model that corporate America does every day to predict how people vote - not based on where they live but how they live," he said. "That was critically important to our success."
He said that is what led him to the conclusion that supporters of Mr. Kerry had a preference for Volvos over Lincolns, and yoga over guns.
In addition, Mr. Mehlman said the Bush campaign had moved beyond simply placing advertisements on traditional television and radio networks. For example, he said, Mr. Bush began placing advertisements on in-house networks at private gyms, guaranteeing a captive audience of what he described as receptive voters.
"Because our demographic studies and analysis showed us that a lot of young families get information not at the 7 o'clock news but at the 7 o'clock workout before they got home," he said.