Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Reaching Ethnic Voters Demands Custom Data

Custom data is emerging as a vital tool for 2016 candidates and causes facing a dramatic shift in voter demographics, with proportions of Hispanic, Asian and African-American voters growing relative to white voters in many key states. For example, in Nevada, non-Hispanic whites will fall to 60% of the voting population in 2016 (from 65% in 2012), while Hispanics will grow to 19% (up from 16%), African-Americans will rise to 10% (from 9%), and potential Asian voters will go to 8% (from 7%), per a Washington Post evaluation of U.S. Census data. Besides Nevada, states most affected by demographic shifts include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolia, Ohio and Virginia. A recent Ad Age article interviewed Republican and Democratic strategists to highlight 2016 plans for winning ethnic political allegiance--and custom data was one of the key strategies. "I think the status quo has been somewhat subpar in terms of our ability to find minority voters, especially in areas that are more diverse," Tom Bonier, CEO of Democratic data consultancy TargetSmart, admitted to Ad Age. Since raw commercial data on race and ethnicity doesn't always provide enough accuracy for the data crunchers, TargetSmart and other political agencies are building data models internally--especially Democrats and progressives, who see winning African-American and Hispanic voters as key to 2016 victory. One of the important custom tweaks that data analysts are making is coding the appropriate language for campaign messaging. A Hispanic surname alone does not indicate whether the preferred communication language is English or Spanish, for example. For other strategic implications of ethnic voter shifts, such as increased mobile communications, see the complete article: http://adage.com/article/datadriven-marketing/politicians-custom-data-key-reaching-ethnic-vote/297912/

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