GOP, Democrats Turning to Data Ahead of 2014 Midterms

Big data is here to stay in politics.

Republicans and Democrats have launched unprecedented data gathering operations ahead of the 2014 midterms as part of an unprecedented voter turn-out operation.

The Washington Examiner says one conservative polling firm, i360, is talking to 200,000 voters every single month in order to get a clear picture of the 2014 electorate.

With new data constantly streaming in, i360 and its clients don’t have to wait the week it typically takes to conduct and analyze a new poll to measure the political impact of a news event or a candidate’s latest campaign message.

Additionally, the massive amount of new and refined survey data on each voter removes much of the guesswork from the firm’s turnout models, strengthening clients’ ability to successfully micro-target prospective voters.

The Republican operative speculated that the level of data i360 is gathering from its massive survey work allows it to better determine who the most likely voters are, what issues motivate them and who they’re likely to support on Election Day.

Not to be outdone, Democrats are continuing the massive data collection pioneered by Barack Obama's campaign in 2012. From the Daily Beast:

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz unveiled details of the DNC’s Voter Expansion Project on Thursday at the DNC’s summer meeting in Atlanta.  The effort includes micro-targeting tools for state Democratic parties to identify potential voters block-by-block; a website for potential voters to find out when and where to vote, and a team of more than a dozen Voter Expansion Directors focused on ballot and poll access in targeted states, including Georgia.

“What the Voter Expansion Project is about is getting down into the weeds– the nitty gritty, block by block, precinct by precinct, hand to hand combat, door to door, neighbor to neighbor voter registration,” she told the Daily Beast.  “Get them turned out, and when they do turnout, make sure their vote is counted.”