Big Data, Demographics and the Undiscovered Voter
The New York Times has a great piece on the final six weeks of the presidential campaign.
There’s a lot in there in terms of strategies, momentum and setbacks but the use of data and demographics is eye opening:
In Chicago, the [Obama] campaign recruited a team of behavioral scientists to build an extraordinarily sophisticated database packed with names of millions of undecided voters and potential supporters. The ever-expanding list let the campaign find and register new voters who fit the demographic pattern of Obama backers and methodically track their views through thousands of telephone calls every night.
That allowed the Obama campaign not only to alter the very nature of the electorate, making it younger and less white, but also to create a portrait of shifting voter allegiances. The power of this operation stunned Mr. Romney’s aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla. “It’s one thing to say you are going to do it; it’s another thing to actually get out there and do it,” said Brian Jones, a senior adviser.
New York Times, How a Race in the Balance Went to Obama.
Image: An Obama victory party in Manchester, NH, via the New York Times.