Tag Archives for political data

New Text Messaging for Campaigns

In Voter Gravity’s ongoing quest to provide the best campaign management and voter contact platform in the market, we are very excited to announce that we now offer SMS and MMS messaging from within our system.

Texting is a particularly powerful medium because it has one of the highest open rates for any form of communication. Your message is delivered to voters in a medium they regularly use: a messaging app on their phone. Continue reading →

Podcast: Chris Littleton on Voter Databases and Grassroots Campaigning

Voter Gravity Director of Operations Chris Littleton is highlighted on Commonwealthy.com Podcast Series today, a site that aims to “Train those who know the benefits of limited government to win elections.” John Tsarpalas brings campaign and activism best-practices to conservatives as he interviews Chris on voter databases and grassroots campaigning techniques.

Check out this excerpt from today’s post on Commonwealthy.com. Click here to listen to the podcast.  Continue reading →

Door-to-Door Campaigning: The Esri Component Part I

We’ve stressed the importance of face-to-face interaction, door-to-door canvassing, and boots-on-the-ground. Sometimes, however, it can all seem overwhelming. If you introduce yourself to people from nearly every demographic (especially if you live in an urban city), you want to make sure that you avoid presenting the same message to each demographic. You might know which door you’ll be knocking on, but make sure you’ve done some groundwork as to who will be opening it.

Voter Gravity has integrated Esri Tapestry Segmentation into our Esri base maps. Esri Tapestry Segmentation combines of all the possible demographics you may encounter — whether you live in an Urban city or a rural area. They break six main categories into 65 different Lifestyles. Today, we’ve broken down the large tapestry into sections that correspond to your possible campaign area and picked just a few lifestyles to share. Hopefully this can be a starting point as you tailor your face-to-face talking points and introductions in a way that will be meaningful and powerful.

A. Principal Urban Centers:

1. Laptops and Lattes: Singles/shared apartments – These solo acts own a Blackberry, bank online, shop at Banana Republic, listen to public radio, and rent cars from Budget.

2. Social Security Set: Elderly Singles – This demographic reads books, paints, and draws, consults a financial planner, attends auto-racing events, owns/leasees domestic vehicle.

3. Urban Villages: Family mix w/strong family life – These families visit sea world, have mortgage insurance, play soccer/watch soccer on TV, listen to hispanic radio, and own/lease a Toyota.

4. High Rise Renters: Families/Singles – This demographic shops at BJ’s Wholesale club, has renter’s insurance, attends ball games, listens to Urban radio, and uses public transport.

5. Metro Renters: Singles/shared – These citizens travel by plane frequently, have renter’s insurance, play tennis, listen to alternative radio, and rent cars from Hertz.

B. Metro Cities:

1. Top Rung: Families in High Society – These high floaters participate in public/civic activities, own stock worth $75,000+, vacation overseas, listen to all-news radio, and own/lease a luxury car.

2. Urban Chic: Mix households living in upscale avenues – They order from Amazon.com, trade/track investments online, buy natural organic foods, listen to classical music on radio, and spent 30,000+ on last vehicle.

3. Milk and Cookies: Middle class families living in a metropolis – These families frequent fast-food/drive-in restaurants, watch the education channels and Cartoon Network, and own/lease a Nisson.

4. Inner City Tenants: Mixed company with global roots – They play football or basketball, have a personal education loan, go dancing, read music or fashion magazines, and own/lease a Honda.

5. Dorms to Diplomas: College students, singles and shared – These youngsters participate in a variety of sports, have personal education loans, own an iPod, watch MTV, and have an auto insurance with State Farm Mutual.

C. Urban Outskirts:

1. Boomburbs: High Society Couples w/Kids in suburbs – These families shop and bank online, visit disney world (Fl), listen to sports on radio, and own/lease an SUV.

2. Main Street U.S.A.: Mixed belonging to what Esri terms “traditional living” – Buy children’s toys, games, and clothes, consult financial planner, rent movies on DVD, and watch court shows in TV.

3. College Towns: Singles/Shared multiunit rentals – Work for a political party/candidate, bank online, attend college sports events, go to bars, listen to public, alternative radio, and own/lease a toyota.

4. Southwestern Families: Family Mix – These white, Amer. Indian, and Hispanic families – have a new car loan, play soccer, football, or softball, listen to Hispanic Radio, own/lease a Nixon.

5. Metro City Edge: Families in a metropolis – These just-off-the-city-limit-dwellers are lower/middle class, bank at savings & loan, go to the movies frequently, watch courtroom shows on tv, own/lease a Buick.

D. Suburban Periphery:

1. Suburban Splendor: Married-Couple Families in High Society – They enjoy gardening, hold a large life insurance policy, stay at Hilton hotels, listen to all-news radio, and read travel, sports and magazines.

2. Silver and Gold: Married couples w/ no kids – these upper class seniors go boating and fishing, own shares in bonds, attend classical music shows/operas, and watch the golf channel.

3. Midlife Junction: Mixed combination of middle-aged, middle-class americans – these people go fishing, own U.S. Savings bonds, attend tennis matches, read 2+ daily, sunday newspapers.

4. Military Proximity: Married Couples w/Kids in a college or military environment – they play basketball, go bowling, trade stocks/bonds/funds online, watch news and sci-fi shows in TV.

5. Home Town: Mixed group living in small communities – these small town/steady job types play football, go fishing, have a personal education loan, attend country music performance, watch syndicated TV, and own/lease domestic vehicle.

E. Small Towns
*Esri only has three lifestyles for this category.

1. Cross Roads: Lower/Middle income family mix – these families watch movies on DVD, bak in person, play volleyball and softball, read fishing and hunting magazines, and own/lease a Ford.

2. Senior Sun Seekers: Married Couples w/no kids and singles – these relatively independent senior individuals are members of a fraternal order or veterans’ club, own annuities, go fishing, read, or play bingo, watch game and news shows on TV, and own/lease a station wagon.

3. Heartland Communities: Mixed group of lower/middle class individuals – they work on their lawn, garden. DIY projects, own shares in mutual funds, order products from Amazon, watch cable TV, and own.lease a domestic vehicle. 

F. Rural Areas

1. Green Acres: Prosperous, married couple homeowners – they do gardening/woodworking, have home equity credit line, attend country music shows, watch auto-racing on TV, and drive 20,000+ mi/yr.

2. Salt of the Earth: Married-Couple families in small communities with settled jobs – they enjoy gardening and outdoor projects, own CD 6+ months, watch CMT, own a motorcycle.

3. Rural Resort Dwellers: Married/Couples w/no kids living in a small town – they do woodworking and furniture refinishing, have overdraft protection, do target shooting, watch rodeo/bull riding on TV, and own an ATB/UTV.

4. Rooted Rural: Married Couple Families with lower/middle income – they own dogs, use full-service bank, go hunting, fishing horseback riding, watch rodeos, tractor pulls on TV, Own and ATV/UTV.

5. Rural Bypass: Family mix of lower/middle income – they attend auto racing events, own CDs for 6+ months, go hunting, read fishing/hunting magazines, and own/lease a compact pickup.

If you have any questions about how Esri Tapestry Segmentation fits in with Voter Gravity data, contact us today!


Voter Gravity in Politico: GOP data firm adds big name

A new Republican technology firm has raised $2 million in new capital and is adding a veteran political hand to its board.

Voter Gravity, a campaign technology company building out a multiplatform voter contact tool, reported the partial close funding with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the firm’s CEO said.

Read the rest at Politico.com: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/voter-gravity-matt-schlapp-100644.html#ixzz2mWiFiAVJ

What Can Voter Gravity Data Do For You?

You’ve heard that Voter Gravity has an extensive voter database. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s break it down:
  • 175+ million voter records
  • Voter records across all 50 states
  • Vote history for last four to six cycles of all major elections
  • 90 million phone numbers
  • Addresses geocoded and updated every quarter
  • 65 distinctive consumer and demographic data points for voter profiles
  • Ability to keep a voter’s data when he or she moves, even across state lines
Our files come straight from local election officials, are merged into a master file where we check for up-to-date address changes and append them with phone numbers and consumer data points that are often predictive of voting behavior. This combination of official voter files with modern consumer data analytics makes the Voter Gravity file incredibly accurate and insightful.
The goal of having data is to take action. Here’s what you can do with the data at your disposal through Voter Gravity’s unique application:
  • Access voter records in your district 24/7
  • Link voter records with your Facebook friends (coming soon!)
  • Create walk lists in minutes
  • Create voter surveys and link them to phone banks and walk lists
  • Tag voters with unique attributes for your district
  • Create target voter profiles based on any combination of data points
  • Access voter data on any smartphone or tablet
Intrigued? Request a demo!

14 Ways to Find New Campaign Volunteers

Asking people to volunteer on your campaign can be as difficult as asking for money. Many people need an extra push in order to spend their extra time helping you. The key is to actively recruit volunteers from a variety of places in your community. Reach out and and let them know that their time is valued and needed. I’ve listed 14 places to start looking for campaign volunteers, ranging from the basic to the more creative. Good luck!

  1. Begin with family. Parents, spouses, and your kids can be excellent sources of encouragement and help. Don’t hesitate to look to them – not just for advice and encouragement, but also for time. 

2) Friends. Just like anything, it is best to start with what (or in this case who) you know. Chances are you already have their support and encouragement. Friends are often motivated to help campaign simply because they like you. They’ll volunteer time and energy to help you make your campaign dreams come true if they know that you’ll find value in their support.
  2. Previous Volunteers. As with friends and family, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many things fall through the cracks if you don’t keep track of everything and everyone. People who have helped either your or your political party before are great resources since they will already know what they’re doing.
  3. College Students are another great pool of prospects to pull from. This is your chance to offer college students a chance to improve their resume and be involved with your campaign in a capacity that fits their specific needs. Find the presidents of the college party chapters, speak at their meetings, give internship credit and offer lots of free pizza. Boom.
  4. Volunteer Networks are always an option. People who are familiar with volunteering and campaigns will know what they’re doing and will probably need less training.
  5. High School Students often need to fulfill a certain amount of community service hours for their school or college applications. Working on your campaign will give them the time or credit they need, and will add more energy to your campaign.
  6. Homeschooled Students may not have the community hour requirements but there’s a good chance they’ll have more time on their hands. Or, if they spend as much time in school as public and privately schooled students, homeschooled students will have much more flexible hours. And they may bring along a sibling or two. Announce your need through local homeschool leaders, newsletters, co-ops, events, etc.
  7. Senior Citizens. Like homeschoolers, senior citizens have a lot of time on their hands, and chances are they want to feel useful and help out. Putting up flyers in senior citizen centers and making personal visits to recruit volunteers might be well worth your time. Think creatively about the jobs that they can best help you with and let them know that their time is valued and needed.
  8. Churches may also be a good place to look for volunteers since they are hubs of socializing and community. Ask pastors, youth pastors, or small group leaders how you can best get in touch with their congregations.
  9. Campaign Events. People who come to these events are already supporters or want to find out more about your platform. This is a great opportunity to gain supporters and volunteers who will donate their time to helping you win.
  10. Your Donor Database. Depending on the size of your campaign, the size of this resource may vary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look to them for time. If they’ve already agreed to donate money to your cause, they may just be willing to donate time as well.
  11. Facebook. Hopefully you’ve already set up a page and are using it to get your name out there and create conversation. There are ways to create open events on your page and discover new supporters. Post pictures of your current volunteers as they work on your campaign and include a link to a form for new campaign volunteers.
  12. Local Businesses. Local coffee shops and restaurants are great places to advertise, not just for your campaign but also for volunteers. By placing notices in often-frequented places, you up your chances of reaching out to more people.
  13. Classified Ads. This last one may seem like a no-brainer, but it really shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a simple way to get out the word and provide your information to people who may want to get involved.

7 Creative Ways to Target Voters

Through technology like Voter Gravity, you’re given a universe of data on your potential voters. Now what?

There’s the most obvious uses for voter data, including identifying voter history and targeting people most likely to vote for your candidate, the swing voters, and those who will vote for your opponent. You must always target voters with data in at least these two ways:

  1. Use voter history data to point volunteers to the highest turnout precincts in the final GOTV push.
  2. On election day, call and knock the precise audience most likely to help you win.

But, as we often say, good voter data contains more than just whether someone has voted before or what issues are important to them. It helps your political campaign make important decisions, from identifying donors to messaging to absentee voters.

We encourage you to get creative with the myriad of ways you can slice and dice the data in order to focus your efforts most effectively. We are fully convinced that every single modern campaign, regardless of size, must run on many forms of voter targeting.

Here are some of my favorite practical but creative ways to leverage the data that you have at your disposal as a state or local political campaign:

  1. Donors: Look at common attributes of your current donors and identify patterns that could help you identify likely future donors.
  2. Volunteers: Draw volunteers early on in the campaign from your targeted supporters. Don’t just contact them with requests to vote, but requests to volunteer and become your advocate.
  3. Absentee Voters: Identify past absentee voters and reach them early with specific messages. This allows you to give them helpful information like absentee voting deadlines, while also persuading them to vote for you.
  4. Ads: Know which voters pay attention to specific media. Combine that knowledge with other data, such as how they spend their free time or money, or the age of their children. Then, tailor any radio or TV ads to those specific voters. Or, bow out of advertising on a specific channel or station if your targeted voters aren’t a likely audience.
  5. Yard Signs: Place yard signs in areas throughout your district with high visibility to targeted voters. Also, tailor the messages on those signs to appeal to the surrounding neighborhoods.
  6. Voter Turnout: If running against an incumbent, determine the areas the incumbent faired poorly among voters.
  7. Mailings: Send (very) tailored mailings to different segments in your district. With Voter Gravity’s Esri Tapestry partnership, you can identify voters who have multiple points in common. For instance, send one mailing to the people who “own dogs, use full-service banks, go hunting, fishing, horseback riding, watch rodeos, tractor pulls on TV, and own an ATV/UTV” and another mailing to the people (in your same district) who have these points in common: “Paint and draw, have a second mortgage, listen to classical music on the radio, read baby magazines, and own motorcycles.”

9 Ways to Track Your Social Media Success

At Voter Gravity we’re interested in the data, analytics, and science that goes into empowering a political campaign. But we’ve been there. Running a campaign takes time. And now you have a digital campaign to keep up with. Trying to keep track of who’s following you, which posts have the most influence, what times are best to post, etc. can be overwhelming. Thankfully, many have come before you and devised simpler methods and tools for tracking the success of your social media campaigns. 

Here are some awesome sites that we think will be useful in saving you time as you track your social media success and allow your digital campaign to play an important role in data-driven voter contact. Always allow the data to inform your digital strategies. Note: As a political candidate, always keep in mind that most tools used for managing company accounts will also work in managing your personal accounts.


  • Social Eye allows you to manage, schedule, approve, publish and moderate your social media posts on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else you may be posting on a regular basis. Social Eye allows you to perform a few neat tricks to optimize posting. For example, you can set specific times for when you want to post, allowing you to send out content when people are actually online rather than when your team is in the office.
  • Wildfire is actually an app powered by Google Analytics. This handy tool allows you to measure social ROI; everything from revenue on ads to donations can be measured by this little guy. This is an example of an analytics tool that is sold to businesses but will work well for campaigns as well.


  • Booshaka is technically a marketing platform, but this still falls into your aim to market yourself for a position of leadership. Booshaka provides features that help you understand your social media community engagement in order to develop social marketing strategies, and engage with your community in order to increase your awareness of your fan/followers base. 
  • Quintly is geared more specifically towards analyzing Facebook content and interactions, then uses those measurements to provide metrics from which you can adjust your campaign. These metrics specifically help in user interaction and finding the perfect time to post your specific content.
  • Facebook Insights are a feature of every Facebook page. Our basic message to you is: use them! Our favorite features include details about when your fans are online and the success of different post types based on average reach.


  • Twitonomy is an analytics tool with both free and premium versions. Premium features include search analytics, custom date ranges and even downloading data into Excel or PDF. Twitonomy provides you with a wide range of analytics including tweets per day, who you retweet most often, which of your tweets were retweeted the most, which were favorited the most and much more. 
  • Followerwonk is a free product that allows you to grow your twitter account through very specific features tailored to increase the effectiveness of your account. Bio search research is good for exploring the twitter user graph of twitter. This is especially good for outreach. You can also compare users. When you plug in the names of other users on Twitter, you are provided with a Venn Diagram comparing followers, tweets, and anything else that you may want to know about other users out there. 
  • TweetDeck brings clarity to the mess of tweets that your twitter feed would be without organization. It’s considered a staple by many Twitter users. TweetDeck can help you distinguish between tweets from specific users, direct messages, replies, and the rest of the Twitter world. This will be helpful in untangling the constant feed of information.

Bonus: And, just for fun, compare yourself to a friend (or opponent) on Visual.ly. Political analytics doesn’t have to be boring after all.

Taking Political Data to a New Level

In an effort to continually enhance the voter data for campaigns, we’ve integrated two exciting new features this month:

1. 50-State Voter Database

Voter Gravity now features complete voter files in all 50 states. Our database now includes:

  • Voter profiles appended with vote history for all major elections going back at least four cycles;
  • Geocoded voter profiles that will display beautifully on our Esri maps;
  • Able to append key consumer data points to increase predictive accuracy;
  • Monthly and quarterly updates for phone numbers and addresses;
  • A unified database that allows us to track voters even when they move across state lines.
Voter Gravity’s database also includes phone numbers and emails in all 50 states. With the click of a button, candidates and organizations can now append phones and emails to their voters, giving campaigns of any size the ability to truly tap into the power of Voter Gravity’s technology.

More Than Just Voter History: Esri Tapestry Segmentation

2. More Than Just Voter History: Esri Tapestry Segmentation

We’re excited to take the Esri maps inside Voter Gravity’s system to a new level. Voter Gravity has integrated Esri Tapestry Segmentation into our Esri base maps.

Campaigns now have an even better idea of what makes up the “fabric of America’s neighborhoods,” allowing them to identify and target voters with the best political data. Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation divides US residential areas into 65 distinctive segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics to provide an accurate, detailed description of US neighborhoods.