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Reasons Successful Campaigns Are Typically Data Driven

As far as political campaigns are concerned, there are a number of factors that contribute to the success, or lack thereof, of any given politician. While the methods, tools, and tactics used in each campaign tend to vary drastically, there is something to be said for political operations that are actually successful. While mudslinging and other negative tactics have become commonplace within the realm of politics, these practices often make for more sensationalized headlines than an empirical electoral difference. Moreover, largely a popularity contest, many believe that the candidate whom the public finds most relatable will always win. While there may be some truth to this, there is typically more to the story. On the whole, the most successful campaigns are largely based on logic and facts compiled from none other than the voters themselves. The following is an overview of the top reasons the most successful political campaigns are data driven.

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Knowing Your Voters

The primary reason that the most successful campaigns are now data driven involves the statistical ability to uncover, understand, and commune with a candidate’s voters. By using specific tools to find and track one’s potential voters, clues will be uncovered on various voter habits and other pertinent information. Discovering the intricate details of a voter’s concern about certain issues, as well as how a voter responds to certain ideas and policies, can be invaluable information for any political campaign. This ultimately allows any politician to create a more personalized campaign that their voters will relate to, thus giving them the electoral edge.

Political Spending/ Funding

Secondly, data driven campaigns thrive on new technology that allows them to track donations and funding in real time. This not only gives them the ability to track the spending of each candidate as it happens, but it also makes it easier to assess which spending habits can be hurtful or helpful to a campaign in order to fine-tune their efforts. Likewise, it also makes for a more transparent campaign overall as voters and campaign donors are readily able to track how and why campaign funds are being spent.

Just the Facts

Lastly, one of the principal reasons why data is increasingly imperative in mounting successful campaigns are the troves of observed facts regarding voting habits and issues. Thus, campaigns that are equipped to quickly collect and assess complex data are generally those that give victory speeches on election night. Political operatives who understand this technological trend are those that adapt their messages in real time and tweak their efforts quickly. Therefore, unfettered access to concrete information gives campaigns the ability to observe voters’ reactions and to quickly alter the message and the manner in which that message is delivered. At the heart of these efforts are the technological and algorithmic tools, which ungird data driven campaigns.

Thoughts on the Future

Modern campaigns will grow to rely on technological savvy fueled by the right people utilizing accurate analytical tools to interpret data. Campaigns that embrace current communication trends, such as social media and mobile technologies, will then communicate the appropriate campaign message in the manner in which voters are listening. Thus, the future of campaigning belongs to those who can accurately couple demographic data with individual voters to produce a winning message. Embracing these data driven realities will be the difference that elevates successful campaigns to the next level.

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David Taylor, Principal, Capitol Solutions
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