NPR Larry Zilliox of Investigative Research Specialists says opposition research relies on some old basics: court records, voting history and in some cases phone and financial records. And some new avenues made available by the Internet.
NPR “You’re researching a candidate’s background,” he says. “But also not only his personal background and his business background but his political background and his political activities.”
Could the people in Zilliox’s opposition research boot camp uncover the next politically explosive video? There’s no telling. For Zilliox, some of his biggest blockbusters came in researching people thinking about a run for office. Candidates often run research on themselves to see what their opposition might find.