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Voter targeting

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  • 1. Voter Targeting 401Joe Fuld- National Committee for an Effective Congress.(These are notes for advanced campaigning)Targeting answers 3 questions: Who is persuadable? Who supports your candidate? Whowill vote on election day?Three kinds of voters. Supporters. Opponents. Undecideds.Mathematics of Victory- must (get 50% + 1)1. Decide what % will give you victory.2. Start counting with the easiest voters first. (your supporters)3. If supporters are less than 51%, then go to the next easiest voters (the undecideds).4. If still not at 51%, you must target soft supporters of your opponent.The primary target is the least persuadable voter that you will absolutely need.If you are at 55%, opponent at 35% and undecided is 10% then turn out your base to win.If you are 30%, opponent is 55% and undecided is 15%, then talk to undecideds. Also talkto your opponents softest supporters.If you are at 35%, opponent also at 35% and undecideds are 30%, then you must target theundecideds.Use a mix of polling data, instincts and message to find a persuasion target. Identifysupporters for GOTV effort in November. Turn out your supporters on Election day thruGet Out the Vote activities.The only way to ID your supporters is to call them, canvas door to door, or to useprediction techniques. Try to add and omit voters with targeting. Find out saints andsinners. Omit your opponents supporters from your universe. Think of the voter universeas a pie chart. Eliminate some slices and concentrate on others.Three types of voters. Always vote. Sometimes votes. Never votes.Figure out who they are. Which support D, R, L?Ex-Democratic candidate in N.C. He talks to democrats who sometimes, always vote. Healso talks to independents. He tries to peel off pro-choice GOP women that always vote.
  • 2. Supporter targeting.1. Phone match may only be 50% of supporters. Also some people you cant reach byphone.2. Door to door is effective, but it takes much time and money.3. Predict by using polling data and past election data. You can predict which voters arewith you. You can find target demographics to talk to.Demographic targeting uses info from polls. Age, sex, religion, income, etc. You drawinferences.Geographic targetings looks at where voters live. Is someone in your precinct likely to be apersuadable voter? Some districts have more persuadable voters than others. Go to precinctlevel data. Look at averages, not individuals. Your states voter file contains bothdemographic and geographic information.Focus resources on persuadable voters who are less likely to turn out on election day. Ifsomeone is a super democrat who votes in every election, including primaries, then youdont need to send him many persuasion pieces. You might ask for donations instead. Hewill vote for you anyway.Voter ID is accurate but expensive. Most people have figured out how to not answer thephone.Predicting supporters. Look at polling data, party registration and ethnicity. Figure out whosupports you. Then figure out who will vote on election day. This helps you figure outtargeting for turnout (GOTV).The older you are, the more likely you are to vote.<30 30% vote30-39 .45%40-49 60%50-59 75% voteWhy? Older people are more invested in the community. Voting is an acquired taste. Olderpeople dont move as often. They pay more taxes. They have roots now. The first time isthe hardest.Political junkies are strange people. If you are reading this, you are a political junkie. Mostpeople dont care very much for politics. They care about issues that effect them, like taxes,schools, healthcare, but not politics itself. How can we make politics relevant to average ...--..,voters?
  • 3. Independents are less likely to vote than registered Ds and Rs. The more you have voted inthe past, the more likely you are to vote next November.votes in last 4 years % chance of votingzero 20%once 45%twice 70%three times 80%all four times 90%Predict turnout with turnout rates, turnout tables, analyze past elections. Age and length ofregistration. Voter history. You might want to target independents who voted in at least 3of the past 4 elections.1. contact likely voters with persuasion pieces (mail, phone calls, canvassing)2. contact marginal supporters and urge them to go to the polls.Persuasion targets are 1) highly likely to vote but still undecided, 2) soft supporters.GOTV targets are marginal voters who are likely to support your candidate.Some targeting tools are voter file, poll results, past elections, and your own instincts.Do a benchmark poll. Figure out who your targets are. For example, pro-choice GOPwomen. Then use the voter file to find them. State party might have this info. Might haveto buy lists.A pro-gun candidate may do a pro-gun mailing to people with hunting licenses. Get thestates hunting license list and match it to the voter file.Even with TV ads, one media market may have more democrats than another. Find out thesoft areas and hit them with TV ads. Use direct mail in areas where you arent using muchTV.Voter registration usually isnt done by campaigns. Other groups do this. Very timeconsuming and costly. Newly registered voters dont usually vote. Let the party or theLeague of Women Voters register people. You might want to do a targeted voterregistration at a gun show, however.Absentee ballots are early voting. They can be targeted. Some people vote a month early.Occasional voters- target them to get out the vote by absentee ballot. This extends theirvoting window for a few weeks, if they are busy. But most absentee voters vote as soon as
  • 4. they get the ballot. Still, you could try to call everyone who registered for an absentee ,-...,ballot. Check every day with the election bureau. They may have a list of chronic absenteevoters, whom you could contact a little earlier for GOTV and persuasion.Voter file is based on past elections. Dont forget your coalition. Who is your candidate?What are his issues? Use this to figure out who to target.Example: a conservative pro-life democratic candidate. But opponent is a Gap pro-choicewoman. The democrat may target more conservative voters and peel them off. Do amessage box and see the differences.You can fill in the gaps in information with instincts and experience working in politics inthat state. Secure your base, then go after two targets.You have a persuasion target and a GOTV target. Persuasion target is a frequent voter whowaffles on who to vote for. GOTV targets are your supporters who are somewhat unlikelyto actually vote.Presidential years have higher turnouts, so there are more persuadable voters in Presidentialyears. If your base is not engaged, then you have to spend time working your base. Arethere more persuadables? Or are there more people in your Sometimes-voting base.Internet is good for targeting your base with email. For persuasion on the internet, try to ,-...,target specific sites with banner ads. Mail and phones are better for persuasion than theinternet. In some campaigns the persuasion never stops.Can use GOTV in an entire district if your partys performance is over 65%. You want toreach your voters without activating the opponents soft supporters.Everyone uses targeting. Press secretary- what to say. Scheduler- where to say it? FieldDirector- Where to send canvassers door to door?