Data analytics refers to the process of assessing large amounts of raw information to draw conclusions and make inferences, a scientific methodology that is used by businesses across the globe to guide decision-making processes and help them serve consumers more effectively.
Likewise, political action committees (PACs), candidates running for office, and other participants in American politics use data analysis to better understand voters, but whether political data actually has an impact on the outcome of campaigns remains a point of contention, and even if it does, many still question how much it does so.
With that being said, join us as we examine these key points and explore the connection between analyzing political data and the subsequent outcomes of campaigns.
What Is Considered Political Data?
Political data encompasses a broad range of statistics and information, and the more diverse your political dataset, the better insights you will be able to gain from it during your data analysis.
Some common types of political data that you should leverage include the following:
- Quantitative Data:Any information that is expressed using numerical values, as opposed to qualitative data, which is conceptual and descriptive
- Political Contributions: Political contribution databases, such as the one provided by Aristotle, can help identify prospective donors that you can target to support fundraising efforts
- Census Data: Each U.S. Census report includes vital demographic data that you can use to better understand racial, income, and gender trends among your constituents
- Survey and Public Information: Surveys are excellent tools for gauging the temperature of voters regarding important, potentially polarizing, topics
- Election Results: Although public surveys and polls are useful, election results are by far the best tool for understanding how Americans feel and vote on key issues
Tapping into a broad range of political data allows you to carefully plan and manage every aspect of a campaign, and you can use the insights you pull from it to connect with the right audiences, mobilize your existing voters, and help your candidate stand out at election time.
How Political Data Can Pave the Way for Campaign Success
There are a variety of ways to put your political data to use and thusly increase the odds of campaign success, some of the most popular of which include the following:
Identifying Where Voters Stand on Major Issues
A voter’s decision-making process is nuanced and complex, but campaign strategists often have to condense it into a series of binary decisions. If a voter has a high likelihood of supporting several issues that your candidate backs, they are also likely to vote for your candidate and others that align with your party.
Understanding where certain voter groups stand on major issues can help your organization focus its energy on the right audiences. If a particular group is a staunch opponent of one of your foundational campaign points, it is unlikely any of them would vote for your candidate. Conversely, a group that may not agree with your candidate on all topics but is in alignment regarding a pivotal issue, such as women’s rights, is very likely to provide campaign support.
Microtargeting is a form of audience segmentation that involves categorizing voters into relatively small groups based on their shared political tendencies, after which you can create tailored campaign messaging for each segment.
By personalizing your messaging, you can increase the efficacy of your outreach efforts and garner much-needed support for your campaign. You can engage in microtargeting using a wide range of demographic data points, including race, age, gender, and geographic location.
Analyzing Voter Demographics
Political data helps your organization better understand voter demographics, which, in turn, will help you identify which issues are most important in each geographic region. As your candidate makes visits to various cities and towns, they can tailor their talking points, highlighting issues and objectives that are important to their audience.
Finding Underserved Voters
Inevitably, in each election, a “small” percentage of voters will feel underserved, given that the issues most important to them garner little to no attention from political candidates. As a result, these voters may often end up indecisive as to who they will vote for.
In a close race, such a seemingly small group of voters can sway the outcome of an election, so it is vital that you use your collected political data to pinpoint undecided voters. Once you know who they are and what issues are important to them, you can craft tailored messaging that encourages them to support your candidate.
Tailoring Campaign Content to Voter Preferences
In today’s digital world, your team has several options to choose from when devising its campaign marketing strategy. You can advertise on the internet, social media channels, and of course, on TV, but knowing when and how to properly use each outlet is essential.
Properly allocating resources across all available mediums is integral to the success of your campaign, and analyzing political data will help you identify which channels are most popular amongst your target demographic. For instance, you may find that older voters prefer TV or email-based ads, whereas voters under 30 want to learn about candidates via social media.
Tap into a Wealth of Political Data with Aristotle
Analyzing political data can set the stage for a successful campaign, but before you can analyze it, you need access to it — lots of it.
Gaining access to the right data is as easy as partnering with Aristotle, the leader in political data. Aristotle’s core data includes a National Consumer File with over 250 million records, a National Voter File with more than 235 million records, and a New Mover File with data on over one million monthly moves.
When you’re ready to power your campaign with timely, relevant political data, contact us and schedule a demo of Aristotle.