Meg & Micro-targeting: A Factor in the CA GOP Losses?
When Meg offered to ‘buy PDI data’ for the entire state to prove that she was a ‘team player’ among all CA GOP politicians, was she really doing the various GOP locals and campaigns in the state a favor?
Many CA GOP campaigns and local party operations seemed to instantly turn the data portion of their GOTV operations over to Meg’s field directors to get their walk lists and call lists from the Whitman centralized PDI data operation.
I ask because I was approached by a pair of committeemen at a recent LA GOP central committee meeting. They had somehow identified me as ‘the PROCINCT guy’ and began questioning me vigorously about the precinct walk lists that PROCINCT provides online.
It turns out that they had a story to tell.
One committeeman was primarily interested in two precincts in his area. Like all the others, he went to Meg’s field director for his walk lists.
He got 80 names to walk for two precincts.
This in an area where we normally expect 200-600 Republicans per precinct.
Now Meg’s people were openly bragging about the micro-targeting ability that PDI gave them. And don’t get me wrong – I’m a data guy and I strongly beleive in the power of micro-targeting, especially for mailings.
But is highly selective micro-targeting the right option for the GOTV ground game?
Could it be that GOP high-propensity voters are such partly because of vigorous party contact during the election season? Could the absence of party contact during a hotly contested election have indicated to them party weakness; or conversely, such dominant party strength that their vote wasn’t all that important?
Then there was the unaccounted factor of so many Tea Party folk who were very unhappy with voters’ primary decision over their BFF fave challengers. There was a strong sentiment afoot among non-activist tea partiers that they would simply ‘punish’ the winning candidates by withholding their vote entirely. Could some contact with some dedicated party activists have gotten their vote out anyway? Now we’ll never know, because a highly selective micro-targeting strategy may have simply left these voters to their own resentful thoughts.
It’ll be another week before the county clerks offer the final voter data from the election. It’ll be up to the heavyweight gurus such as TEAPAC‘s data rock star Hugh Hemington to sift the data and help us determine if a less selective ground game would have embraced (and motivated) more GOP voters in CA.
Did a flawed strategy for one candidate turn out to be replicated across the entire state in the name of ‘free stuff’?