Yearly Archives: 2013

Column Image Coin Flipping Voters

Would you hire someone to work for you by flipping a coin? Of course not. How about flipping a coin to decide who represents you in Congress or the state legislature?  It sounds crazy, but that’s essentially what lots of Californians do when they vote for a candidate. They perform the voting equivalent of flipping a coin when hiring someone to represent them in public office. Throughout my years of experience with Competitive Edge Communication & Research conducting political research and analyzing election results, I’ve identified voters who know almost nothing about both candidates in a two candidate race. However, they consider voting — all the way down the ballot — their civic duty. These folks wind up on Election … Read more

Categories: Campaigns| Voters

Column Image 50 Shades of Voters and Election Decisions

Do you think in shades of gray? Or does the world look black and white to you? No, Competitive Edge Communication & Research isn’t surveying people about the latest naughty novel. What we are into is learning about the ways voters think and, specific to this post, when they make decisions. It can be a critically important factor in a political campaign’s ultimate success or failure and one we can leverage. Just as people do with anything from buying cereal to career choices, different groups of voters make decisions at different times during a campaign. Knowing this and using it to your advantage is one of the little understood ways a good research and microtargeting program can leverage the “progressive … Read more

Categories: Campaigns

Column Image Microtargeting Research: The Hype, the Reality and What Your Campaign Should Get

“Microtargeting” has been a buzzword seemingly since Republican campaign wiz Alex Gage coined it in 2002.  As with other campaign tools (standard survey research, opposition research, automated field ops, etc.), the promise of microtargeting has always been to give campaigns that extra edge they need in order to win. Because it is grounded in the arcane world of statistics and polling, microtargeting has a sort of “dark arts” quality to it.  This “secret sauce” aspect may give rise to even bigger hype. “Knowing the voter intimately” is one marketing line. To be fair, most microtargeting practitioners typically relate that the tool is not a silver bullet. However, news headlines blaring “How campaigns know you better than you know yourself” and … Read more

Categories: Campaigns| Microtargeting

Column Image Twitter Polls, Sh*tter Polls

Fabio Rojas, an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University, posted a little piece about polling in the Washington Post entitled “How Twitter can help predict an election.”  The title is titillating, but fairly innocuous. Not so for the Post’s article in which Rojas asserts that: Twitter “discussions” can predict elections so we’ll be able to forget about elections and choose our representatives via digital democracy Online public information will replace the polling industry Anyone who can write computer code can offer the same analysis as a trained polling professional (pollster) Whoa!  I better find a new job teaching stand up paddle boarding. But let’s take a look at those assertions.  First, the races Rojas included in his study were … Read more

Categories: Polls

Marco Rubio and the Latino Vote

The question on the table is what happens to the Latino vote if Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the Republican presidential nominee? As a Latino, I am naturally interested in this question. Being the first Latino on a national ticket may make Rubio a shoo-in for increased Latino support. But a number of politically-minded friends swear otherwise. Some assert that the Republican Party has turned its back on Latino voters, so Rubio’s heritage won’t matter.  Others assert that Rubio’s Cuban roots would not translate into support from Mexican-Americans (or any non-Cuban Latino for that matter). I am not trying to answer those questions. What I am trying to do is set some parameters for a Rubio candidacy by examining exit … Read more

Categories: Latino Vote

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