Predictive analytics for targeted election campaigns

By David Steinberg.


In the course of researching a paper on election surveys, I came across some fascinating material on the use of predictive analytics in election campaigns. There was extensive use by both the Trump and Clinton campaigns in the recent U.S. presidential election. An important catalyst has been the move from mass media to personalized themes and messages. When a candidate airs his or her pitch via television or billboards, a single message is needed that will connect to as many voters as possible. Today candidates take advantage of social media, email, etc. to send out personalized messages. One message fits all has been replaced by targeted campaigning. Consequently, there is high demand for predictive analytics to delineate groups of voters and identify the messages that will be most effective to achieve their votes and possibly contributions to the campaign. Analysis based on in-depth survey data, psychometrics and demographics is used. The Trump campaign was aided by the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and there are a number of interesting items on their web page on the use of predictive analytics in the election (https://cambridgeanalytica.org). Many other sites also have information – if the topic interests you, just do a google search.

(Image licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

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