Last November, despite a rocky economy and high unemployment, Barack Obama won the White House. And while there have been many debates about how he won, almost every observer will agree that one of the biggest factors was his groundbreaking use of data.
But what does that mean exactly? And how does it apply to someone running for the state legislature or county commission?
Big Data is a big trend for businesses across the globe, and political campaigns are starting to catch on as well. Big Data refers to the large amounts of information that is suddenly available about consumers (or voters), and the ability to analyze it. If businesses can use their data to learn more about their customers, shouldn’t campaigns be able to use data to learn more about their voters?
Here are three ways you can use Big Data to transform your campaign.
1. Be Faster
I’ll never forget the first campaign I worked on. Our campaign manager handed out pocket maps of the town and circled neighborhoods where she thought there were lots of Republicans. So we went out and knocked on doors. Every door. Democrats, Republicans, unregistered voters, undocumented aliens… everyone. We had no way to target, which led to a lot of effort without much in the way of results.
Leveraging Big Data helps you reach specific voters who are likely supporters. Not just Republicans, but very narrowly defined groups of voters important to your winning coalition. For instance:
- Unaffiliated suburban women who are frequent voters.
- Republican or unaffiliated voters who recently registered to vote
- Republican, frequent voters who have not been contacted in the last three months
Being able to slice and dice a large universe of potential voters into manageable groups makes it faster to get started. It means your volunteers are doing more meaningful work. It means you go into election day with more confidence.
2. Save (and make) Money
If you are using Big Data to connect with the voters most likely to support you, then it becomes easier to target your activities to those voters. Want to send a districtwide mailing? Why spend all of that money when you can target your list to the 30% of voters most likely to support you, or the 20% of swing voters who you want to persuade.
Using data smartly doesn’t just make your campaign better at voter contact. It can help you target and focus your resources for communications, finance, and other activities. For instance, by looking at common attributes of your current donors, you can identify patterns that could help you identify likely donors.
3. Turnout your voters
As the election draws near, your focus turns entirely to one goal: turning out voters. Here again, data makes your get out the vote (GOTV) efforts efficient and successful. Because you have worked so hard throughout the election to contact voters, using a tool like Voter Gravity, you can now easily pull lists of your most likely supporters, point volunteers to the highest turnout precincts, and call, knock, and mail the precise audience most likely to help you win on election day.
Big Data is here to stay, and provides valuable insights to help you win elections. If you would like to see how Voter Gravity can help you leverage data to win your next election, signup for a demo today.