Big Data's Influence in Politics
The 2012 presidential election was a milestone for leveraging technology in presidential politics. The campaign relied heavily on technology, but many say the Democrats tapped into the power of data analytics more effectively than Republicans did. The key to Obama’s victory was the ability to mobilize the vote and it used a lot of data. The Obama campaign developed a team of professionals who built a unique data platform that proved effective for raising money and tracking voters.
Obama’s campaign team used data to analyze voters’ registration information and online habits, and in turn developed models predicting who was most likely to vote. In addition, both campaigns utilized social media to optimize interaction. It played a prominent role in the election and the best evidence of its impact is a study which found that people are more likely to vote if they learn, via social media, that friends will vote.
Just like other political campaigns, engaging with constituents matters. The Obama campaign demonstrated the ability to reach voters in multiple mediums. There’s so much opportunity with big data and our political structure. I predict a lot more of analytics and candidates learning about their voter base. When it comes to local and state elections, there’s tremendous opportunity for candidates to connect with voters and I think the current framework for civic engagement will continue to evolve in the 21st-century.
As voters, we have a civic responsibility to being engaged year-round. How will you #BeHeard?