One of the cool things about having access to a sophisticated big data platform is the ability to analyze information trends and compare analytics. Nationally, political campaigns leveraged data points from different sources to pinpoint the voters that are likely to vote for a specific candidate. As many of you know, it is difficult to get citizens to vote in the United States, with dismal voters showing up at the polling places each election cycle. Rather than cast wide nets for voters, candidates are now using data to get in front of the voter that is likely to vote for them.
I’ve been spending some time on Eddie Holguin’s voter platform, El Paso Votes. I created some metrics about El Paso voters that I found interesting and I believe you will to.
The average age of an El Paso County voters is 46 years old. The women voters average 47 years old and the men come in at 45. The number of male voters versus female voters is about even with 226,792 females and 207,716 males.
There are 195,132 voters between the ages of 26 and 50, and 32,735 voters over the age of 76. The starter voters – those between 18 and 25 – are 68,373 voters.
Here’s something I found interesting, there are about 30 thousand voters whose birthdays land on each month of the year. August has the most birthdays, at 39,009 and it probably won’t surprise you that February has the lowest number of birthdays at 32,804.
What surprised me is that there 1,522 voters that are not identification compliant and 20,439 voters that have “suspended” marked on their voter record. Holguin told me that there are many reasons for the suspensions, like invalid addresses or incomplete files.
The invalid identification metric caught my attention because there was much controversy over the requirement to show identification to cast a vote and because of the movement to create a municipal identification card for El Paso.
I’ve only touched on a few of the probabilities that Holguin’s app has to offer. Next time I have an opportunity, I’ll run similar metrics for zip codes and addresses to see if there is a concentration, or lack thereof of voters in the community.
Now take my examples above and apply the metrics to those voters that will likely cast a vote on Election Day. With a voter turnout of under 10%, only about 43,000 voters will cast a vote for the March primaries. The trick is to identify the 43 thousand voters from 436 thousand voters on the voter rolls. The obvious solution is to identify which voters have cast a vote for each election that they were eligible for. Take the number of times they voted and divide that by the number of times they should have cast a vote and you get a percentage of voter participation for each voter in the voter roll. Obviously, 100% is the prime target and it goes down from there.
As the candidate ranks each potential voter by their propensity to vote, the candidate can then use other metrics, such as social media details to see what the voter is most interested in, especially when it comes to issues. From there, the candidate can then use other metrics, like the voter’s age, their gender and the street they live on to reach them with their limited resources in mailings, signage and volunteers.
Look at this way, a grassroots effort has three to four volunteers plus the candidate and limited money for signs and mailouts. How best to leverage those limited resources? Using Eddie Holguin’s voter app, the candidate can divide the county into zones with the most likely voters and put signage and create walking lists to target those voters most likely to cast a vote. To ensure better outreach success, the candidate arrives at a voter’s house armed with knowledge about the voter’s interests and maybe even a list of concerns the voters has.
Consider this, you are one of those voters that is very likely to cast a vote. Two candidates arrive at your doorstep. One candidate makes their pitch about what makes them the better candidate. The other arrives with knowledge about you and your interests. This candidate knows your name and might even know your birthday was only a few days ago.
Which candidate would you most likely vote for, the one with knowledge about you, or the one just pitching you things you may, or may not care about?
The best part of Holguin’s app is that unlike the Van system that the Democratic Party uses, is that Van costs upwards of $1,500 and you must be a Democrat to use it. Eddie Holguin’s program, on the other hand, can be used by any candidate, regardless of party affiliation and it is currently free, while they test the system.
If you haven’t already, check out the El Paso Votes app by going to this link.