The days of getting out the vote and hoping people respond are over. Campaigns have much more control over creating the results they want by utilizing the massive piles of data that are available on potential voters.
You don’t just know someone is a married mother of two. You can now dig deeper and discover how often she votes, what issues she tends to care about, and how politically involved she is. You can tell if someone is motivated by social interaction or passionate about specific issues.
There is a huge landscape of information to cull from in order to target and reach your voters in a way that will most uniquely appeal to them. The data can be overwhelming, so what are the most important pieces you can tap into in order to predict the best result for your campaign?
Assuming the voters are already in your district, here are six essential pieces of voter data that will put you on the path to success in 2015.
1 Education Level. A voter’s education level can make a huge impact on whether or not they vote for your candidate. If you’re speaking with someone that has a high school education and works in a blue-collar job, you’ll want to tailor your conversation to the subjects that will affect his or her job and income. If you’re speaking with someone who has a Masters in Engineering, you may want to veer the conversation towards more lofty policy initiatives that will play a part in their industry.
2 Voting History. It’s important to know how heavily involved your voter is. That will help you know how much persuasion it will take to get them to the voting booth this year. If they aren’t a frequent voter, you’ll need all hands on deck to demonstrate why their one vote can make all the difference for the issues they care most about.
3 Party Affiliation. You never want to approach a voter without knowing their party affiliation. This information will give you drastically different approaches in introducing your candidate and his or her platform. It’s worth it to speak with both sides of the aisle, but important to think strategically in approaching those who have voted for a different party in the past.
4 Parenting. Is the voter a parent? What ages are their children? You can really win parents over by honing in on the issues that will most affect their children. Barring all other issues, if your candidate can persuade a parent that their election will ensure their child receives the best education possible, a vote is likely to head your way.
5 Race or Ethnicity. This intimate personal detail offers great insight into what the voter may care most about. For example, if the potential voter is of Chinese descent, they may care a lot about your candidate’s views on American–Chinese relations. By taking note of these details, you can guide the conversation and uncover the most pertinent bits of information about your candidate.
6 Military Service. Has your voter—or anyone in their immediate family—ever served in the military? Issues of military and foreign policy will be significantly more important to families with military history. Preparing to showcase your candidate’s expertise on these issues, as well as retaining solid answers to possible questions on defense and foreign policy, will help you immensely in convincing a military family to vote for you.
Before you approach your get out the vote (GOTV) strategy, ensure you've got as much data lined up on the voters as possible. Make a list with these six items and you'll have a good foundation for defining the best ways to approach individuals you want to vote for your candidate.