direct mail business this way:
In the 1960s and '70s, Viguerie's lists were a top of the line resource for conservative politicians. He got his start hand-copying the names of donors from public records; with 12,500 to start with, he'd built his list to 25 million entries by 1980.
In an important exposé, historian Rick Perlstein explains that Viguerie and his conservative imitators in the mail business, no matter how genuine their rightwing sentiments, were always operating a con game, fleecing gullible marks through a business model where most of the take went to the data vendors -- themselves.
The business has become more technologically savvy and still goes on today, as you know if you've ever gotten on one of these lists; my father made that mistake and he still gets heartfelt pleas for conservative causes -- despite having died in 1991.
All this is introduction to a terrific explanation from Daily Kos Elections which tells the story of how the right wing mail con machine enabled one of their presidential clowns to game his way to a Senate seat.
The DK Elections piece goes on to point out that Montana's Ryan Zinke and Utah's Mia Love -- both Republican Congressmembers in relatively safe seats -- seem to be copying Rubio's scam.
In a similar vein, it seems appropriate to ask why Dr. Ben Carson is still pretending to be running for President? His support has cratered. I can only conclude that for Carson and his staff, the campaign really is a "for profit venture." What a sad end to an accomplished career.