The Critical Role of Voter Data in Get Out The Vote Campaigns

Vote stickers on the hands on people: how to target primary voters

In the 2020 presidential election, 66% of the voting-eligible population cast their ballots, a figure that represents the highest turnout rate for any national election in over a century.

With that in mind, as candidates and political parties gear up for the 2024 election cycle, everyone is hoping for an equally awe-inspiring turnout come November, and as part of their concerted efforts to mobilize voters, grassroots organizations, candidates, and the big two political parties are all investing heavily in Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns. 

If you are participating in a GOTV campaign and want to maximize your reach, you’ll need an abundance of high-quality voter data. Below, we’ll explore the basics of GOTV efforts and why voter data is so vital to yours. 

What Are the Two Types of GOTV Campaigns?

Generally speaking, GOTV campaigns fall into one of two categories:

Voter Registration

Of the two kinds of GOTV campaigns, those that work to boost voter registration are not specific to an election outcome, which means you should make use of content that is universal to prospective voters. 

In other words, you want to avoid tackling potentially controversial political topics and instead focus specifically on generalized messaging, using terms like “Make your voice heard.” At the same time, though, you need to be careful as you decide when and where to run GOTV voter campaigns.

For instance, if you want to run a voter registration campaign in San Francisco to help boost participation, but 60% of unregistered voters in the city are predicted to vote in favor of your opponent, you might not want to run a blanket GOTV campaign; instead, you should target neighborhoods and demographics that primarily consist of individuals who support your candidate or cause. 

Voter Mobilization

The second kind of GOTV campaign devotes itself to mobilizing voters to achieve a particular election outcome. These efforts appeal to audiences’ emotions to ensure they know what’s at stake during an upcoming election. 

Typically, voter mobilization GOTV campaigns use a mix of positive messaging in support of their candidate and content that outlines the potential negatives of the other being elected. 

Understanding Voter Data 

Regardless of the form of GOTV campaign you want to launch, voter data will play a key role in targeting audiences and ensuring your message is well-received. 

Voter data encompasses a broad array of information collected on registered voters or voting-eligible people. Some information that you might collect includes details such as:

  • Basic demographics (Age, gender, location)
  • Voting history
  • Party affiliation
  • Behavioral insights

Voter data is instrumental in identifying potential supporters, understanding their concerns, and tailoring communication to motivate them to vote; for instance, voter data may help you identify several constituent segments that support your candidate. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that each age group you appeal to may have different reasons for supporting your candidate and their political activities. Younger voters, on the one hand, might be more concerned with issues like healthcare, housing, and student loan forgiveness; on the other, older voters will be paying more attention to your candidate’s stance on Social Security and foreign policy. 

Of course, these are broad generalizations, but they illustrate the notion that each group has different priorities and should thus be presented with unique GOTV content. 

Why Voter Data Matters

In the context of GOTV campaigns, voter data matters because it allows you to do the following:

Tailor Your Messaging 

Perhaps the biggest perk of voter data is that it enables you to tailor your messaging. You can address topics that are relevant to each voter segment, thereby increasing their efficacy and reach, and by analyzing voter preferences and past voting behaviors, your campaign can identify undecided voters, likely supporters, and those who may need an extra nudge to get to the polls.

Microtarget Niche Audiences

Microtargeting takes the concept of tailoring your message a step further by using data analytics to pinpoint individuals or small groups with highly specific profiles, thereby enabling your campaign to deliver customized messages. If you are anticipating a tight political race, microtargeting can help you acquire swing voters who are undecided on who they will support. 

Nevertheless, it’s important that you not divide up your audience too much; remember, not everyone who sees your GOTV content is going to take action, which means you’ll want your audiences to be small enough so that the content feels personalized but not to the point that you erode your return on investment. 

Optimize Resource Allocation

Effective GOTV campaigns require the efficient use of limited resources, including volunteers, time, and finances. Voter data analytics help your campaign prioritize areas and individuals where your efforts will have the greatest impact. 

For example, focusing on regions with historically low turnout but high concentrations of likely supporters can yield better results than doing so with areas of high turnout but fewer persuadable voters; that is particularly true when using mainstream marketing efforts, like paid ads, social media content, and TV ads. 

Enhance Voter Engagement

Lastly, voter data provides insights into the best ways of engaging with different segments of the electorate. It doesn’t matter how many people your GOTV campaign reaches; what matters is how many people ultimately go out to register and vote. 

Understanding which issues are most important to specific voter groups allows your campaign to highlight relevant policies or stances, and you can use data on preferred communication channels (social media, email, text) to meet voters on their terms. 

Get Out the Vote With Aristotle 

Getting your hands on the right data is the first step to launching an effective GOTV campaign, and as a leader in political data, Aristotle can provide you with timely, relevant insights about your target constituents so you can achieve meaningful results with your GOTV efforts. Book a demo of Aristotle today to learn more.

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