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Ready or Not – Election Season is Here

John MontiAugust 28, 2019

2020 is ALMOST here. And that means it is election season in the U.S. The original settlers fought hard to gain independence from England (a.k.a. the United Kingdom) in 1776, and part of that freedom includes free elections that determine who our political leaders will be. So – do elections matter? And do marketers have a special opportunity in election years to promote causes, candidates, products or services that may get more attention than they would in other years? My answers are absolutely YES to both questions! 

The 2016 presidential election was close – and came down to a handful of Midwestern states.   A combined 150,000 vote shift in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin would have changed the outcome of the 2016 election.   That is less than one tenth of one percent of the 128.8 million votes that were cast. My prediction is that the 2020 election will be close again and will again come down to a handful of Midwestern states – and Florida – because Florida always has an outsized importance in U.S. presidential elections. In addition to the presidential election, about one-third of the U.S. Senate seats are up for grabs, all 435 U.S. House Seats are contested, and almost all states hold state-level legislative elections in U.S. presidential election years. These local elections are hugely important, because most state legislatures will re-draw the U.S. congressional districts and the state-level districts based on the 2020 census results. While the outcome of the census is yet to come, it is expected to eliminate 10 U.S. congressional seats from mostly upper Midwest and Northeastern states and create 10 new U.S. congressional districts in southern and western states. Look at the map below for a detailed projection of how that will play out, based on Brennan Center predictions. Florida (of course) is projected to gain another two congressional seats as it is now the third largest state in population.  Texas is projected to gain another three congressional seats to cement its position as the second largest state in population behind California.

Now that we have established what is likely to happen, can your agency or marketing firm help your political clients be more successful in 2020?  The answer is a resounding yes. Below are some examples of data that is available to help with clients’ campaigns.

Known Consumer/Geographic Data Points

Several sources of census information and consumer-reported information are available to help with campaign opportunities.  These are considered deterministic data points, because what is collected is actual geographic, household, or individual data points.   Here are examples of these:

  • State Abbreviation
  • Congressional District
  • District – State Legislative (Upper House)
  • District – State Legislative (Lower House)
  • Political Party – Individual

In addition to these characteristics, some states make registration data available for sale. This is subject to change based on state regulation but as of August 2019 the following states make some data available:

  • AK – Alaska
  • AL – Alabama
  • AR – Arkansas
  • CO – Colorado
  • CT  – Connecticut
  • DC – District of Columbia
  • DE – Delaware
  • FL – Florida
  • ID – Idaho
  • LA – Louisiana
  • MA – Massachusetts
  • MI – Michigan
  • MS – Mississippi
  • NC – North Carolina
  • NJ – New Jersey
  • NV – Nevada
  • NY – New York
  • OH – Ohio
  • OK – Oklahoma
  • RI – Rhode Island
  • SC – South Carolina
  • TX – Texas

Modeled/Predictive Data 

In addition to actual consumer information, there are modeled elements that are political in nature. These generally have higher match rates, because entire populations can be scored.    They are considered probabilistic data points, because these project a likelihood or probability to have particular characteristics or behaviors. Examples of some commercially available models (subject to change based on source availability) include:  

  • Voted in the 2016 Election
  • Voted in the 2012 Election
  • Hold Conservative political views
  • Hold Liberal political views
  • Swing Democrats
  • Swing Republicans
  • ….any many more

For more information on this topic or potential assistance on this subject, shoot us a note at prodspec@acxiom.com and we will be happy to follow up. Acxiom would be glad to have the opportunity to serve you, and we know we have important data assets that will help you succeed.

Ready or Not Election Season is here.   Partner with Acxiom to be a success in 2020.