In a prior post I wrote about our local GOP’s inability to get involved in the community, its inability to maximize the use and market their website, and their inability to supply me voter data to develop a Get Out to Vote (GOTV) effort in our county. However, the incompetence goes further as requests for data and information went unanswered at not only the local level, but at national and state levels as well. I just do not understand how a Party can run campaigns blindly – this is what they are doing if they are not analyzing, tracking, or reviewing data. I took upon myself to contact our County Clerk and purchased a voter registration list. The list was 25 dollars plus 1 cent per name – so thankfully there are only 10,575 registered voters in our county ($130.75). The list was in Excel format and contained the following information – voter name, physical address, mailing address, phone number, Party affiliation, gender, year of birth, and voting history over the past 5 general elections. Within a week I was able to create an Excel program with the following features generated from the voter list information (I would have been able to do more if my computer had more processing capability):
- Determines the percent of voters by demographic makeup: gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, and party affiliation. From this data, a model can be constructed for each demographic parameter to determine the percentage/chances each demographic group will vote for a Republican or Democrat.
- Determines if the voters are likely or unlikely voters
- Determines if the voters are married or single
- Determines if the voters are Hispanic
- Determines a statistical average and probability a voter would vote for a Democrat or Republican
- Creates a way to compare lists of voters to determine if voters are new to the area or left the area.
- Maintains a running count of a hypothetical vote
- Determines a list of voters (about 20% of the county) who should be contact targets by the GOP because they are borderline voters whose vote could go to either a Republican or Democrat
- Has the capability of running a statistical analysis, linear regression models, and correlation on any parameter or group of parameters
- The program highlights those registered voters that should be a target contact by the GOP
- Converts the excel program into an executable program which hides the algorithm embedded within the Excel file
Is this model 100% correct? No, models are not going to be 100% perfect, but they are useful to analyze and compress large amounts of data. For instance, the model has my wife voting for Obama (which is wrong), but it also lists her as a target contact because she in the middle fifth of the voting population. In most counties across the country my wife would have been a certain Romney vote. However, our county went to Obama by 0.1% despite its electorate being predominately Republican and white with a very high percentage of voters above 50. Because of this, I had to scale back national exit poll numbers to give a better reflection of what is going on in our county.