Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Political Moneyball

Before I will think about what went wrong, I want to think about what they did right. It is all about persuasion and the left ran circles around the right. Here a a couple of quotes I pulled from Time Swampland describing how they mined data and used used it creatively:

Consumer data about voters helped round out the picture. “We could [predict] people who were going to give online.


A large portion of the cash raised online came through an intricate, metric-driven e-mail campaign in which dozens of fundraising appeals went out each day. Here again, data collection and analysis were paramount. Many of the e-mails sent to supporters were just tests, with different subject lines, senders and messages. 


The magic tricks that opened wallets were then repurposed to turn out votes. The analytics team used four streams of polling data to build a detailed picture of voters in key states. In the past month, said one official, the analytics team had polling data from about 29,000 people in Ohio alone — a whopping sample that composed nearly half of 1% of all voters there — allowing for deep dives into exactly where each demographic and regional group was trending at any given moment. This was a huge advantage: when polls started to slip after the first debate, they could check to see which voters were changing sides and which were not.


The campaign found that roughly 1 in 5 people contacted by a Facebook pal acted on the
request, in large part because the message came from someone they knew.

So, it is not about ideas or what is best for the country. We lost because we used the old inside baseball guys, like the ones behind Brad Pitt in the picture up there.  They won because they used a guy who was really good at selling groceries to women who just want to feel good about their purchase.

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