By Christopher Stern

April 29, Bloomberg

Barack Obama's supporters are giving him more than just record amounts of cash. They also are providing personal information that may make his donor list the most powerful tool in U.S. politics.

Even if the Democratic presidential candidate doesn't succeed in his White House bid, this data will make Obama a power broker in the party for years to come. For the interest groups or Democratic candidates he chooses to sell it to, it would provide a gold mine of information and access to potential donors.

Almost 2 million people have entered personal information on Obama pages on social-networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and his campaign's, offering home addresses, phone numbers, their views on specific issues and the names of friends. The data have allowed Obama, 46, to raise more than $200 million, fill sports arenas with supporters across the nation and motivate millions more with custom-tailored messages.

``It's gigantic,'' said Laura Quinn, chief executive officer of Catalist, a company that maintains a database of 280 million Americans. The list is as ``transformational'' as the advent of political advertising, she said.

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photo: Barack Obama, senator from Illinois and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Houston, March 3, 2008. Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg News