March 3, 2008 - Not long ago, election campaigns were run on simple grassroots efforts dependent on cold-calling and randomly distributing flyers to the public. The reliance on individual voter data was very thin and only gathered from the public registrar. 


Fast forward to 2008 when large political organizations to local campaign strategists are analyzing vast databases on voter files, election returns and demographic data through the use of predictive analytics software. This keen analysis enables organizations to target likely supporters, persuade undecided voters and help citizens “get out the vote” on Election Day.


Political organizations nationwide use worldwide predictive analytics software from SPSS Inc. to analyze, model and score demographic and behavioral data, along with attitudes and opinions, to find voters most likely to support a candidate or to reach the undecided swing vote.


Campaign strategists now deploy this data to better persuade voters by identifying and communicating the right message on key voter issues, such as education, health care or immigration, through targeted and personalized direct mailings, phone calls or door-to-door canvassing.


SPSS customer Strategic Telemetry, a Washington D.C.-based political consulting service, provides strategic advice and voter targeting services for organizations and campaigns.


“Public interest in recent elections has skyrocketed and voters increasingly want to be more engaged and informed on all points of the candidacy,” said Ken Strasma, president and founder of Strategic Telemetry. “Campaigns that strategically use predictive analytics to effectively analyze and target an undecided voter are far more effectively providing them with messages on issues they care about.”


The Southern Political Information Network (SPIN), a coalition of campaign experts that provides strategic services to southern Democratic Party organizations and political campaigns, uses SPSS predictive analytics software as a core of its consulting.


“As many seasoned political experts have witnessed, it is entirely possible for a precinct's population to radically differ from one political cycle to the next. Political campaigns are most successful through analysis and targeting potential or undecided voters,” said Carl Clark, executive director at SPIN. “It’s like having a treasure map when others may be just digging in the sand, hoping to hit pay-dirt. Using SPSS predictive analytics has also significantly lowered the cost of our resources – from campaign personnel to the cost of mailings and other communications.”

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