Tags: 2014 | campaigns | midterms | analytics

Modern Analytics, Knocking on Doors Used in Midterm Campaigns

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 11:52 AM

Data analytics and good old-fashioned shoe leather are merging as the new modern for 2014 midterms campaigns as Republicans step up their social media game and as Democrats fight off the unpopularity of the president, The New York Times reported.

"The great irony of the modern ground game is it’s this meeting of incredibly modern analytics and data married to very old-fashioned delivery devices," Sasha Issenberg, author of "The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns," told the Times of the complex mix.

"It’s people knocking on doors; it’s people making phone calls out of phone banks; but the calculations that are determining which door and which phone are different."

While Democrats bested the GOP to use data and online outreach during the past election cycles, Republicans have been hard at work modernizing their own tactics. While theirs is a targeted appeal, Democrats are more focused on a numbers game, energizing constituencies within their party like youth and Hispanic voters whose numbers tend to sag historically during off-year election cycles.

In North Carolina, the Times contrasted the campaign tactics of Republicans who are working for Thom Tillis and those Democrats who are helping incumbent Kay Hagan. Smartphones are common even as workers and volunteers go door to door. Data just helps them to fully understand the family behind the door and to target the message they receive there.

Noted Hagan's campaign manager, Preston Elliott, to the Times: "The easiest way to look at it is our strategy to winning is expanding the voting universe. It’s a little more machine-ish than just catching a wave and riding momentum."

Added, Mitch Stewart, who led turnout efforts for Obama's races: "There’s a lot more fluidity to the Democratic voting base than the Republican one."

Democrats still own the landscape, even as Republicans are catching up, using cash infusions from big donors like the Koch brothers, who have somewhat leveled the playing field in some states, and manpower from their groups, Americans for Prosperity.

"The left is still ahead on the ground — they just have more resources," said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, conceded of Democratic foot corps in this midterm.

But overall, the AFP influence is enormous. "As far as large-scale, smart operations, nobody on our side compares," noted Donald Bryson, AFP's North Carolina director, to the Times.

Both sides will count on their influencers to push them forward as the Senate race remains a dead heat, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Two state polls have Hagan ahead, while another has Tillis, the House speaker in the North Carolina Legislature, in the lead by one point. All polls, however, fall in the surveys' margins of error.

One issue that could drive voters to the polls in North Carolina is immigration. As Congress has not acted decisively on the issue, states have taken up the discussion, and Hagan and Tillis differ on how they might handle such policy, the Raleigh News & Observer noted.

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Data analytics and good old-fashioned shoe leather are merging as the new modern for 2014 midterms campaigns as Republicans step up their social media game and as Democrats fight off the unpopularity of the president, The New York Times reported.
2014, campaigns, midterms, analytics
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2014-52-27
Monday, 27 October 2014 11:52 AM
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