At Seamgen, we are sometimes blinded by our infatuation with technology. But we are working on escaping our box, verging beyond mobile app development to investigate the upcoming 2016 election.
Technology, continuing the trend in recent years, has been even more influential in this year’s election. This post will tackle Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s pushes to incorporate technology into their campaigns, along with voting apps, and more. After reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding of available resources and technological influences in the 2016 election.
Hillary Clinton and Analytics
Hillary Clinton’s team has leveraged big data and analytics software in a way never seen before. A recent article in Politico outlined the analytics genius that is Elan Kriegel. The brains behind Clinton’s analytics department, he formerly worked under the Obama campaign; his proprietary electoral models allowed Barack’s team to capitalize on the right times to contact voters, and the best ways to gain returns from campaigning.
Building off Kriegel’s success with Obama, Clinton’s campaign never makes a move before consulting Kriegel’s department and his analytics models. Clinton’s success thus far is in large part to her team’s willingness to trust the predictive models, structuring her campaigning to be as efficient as possible.
Kriegel’s greatest creation yet may be the unique ‘cost per flippable delegate’ algorithm, instrumental in her push to beat Bernie Sanders in the primary. Every dollar of her television advertising budget was allotted through this algorithm, aimed at the most cost-efficient way to victory in the Democratic primary.
Many have attributed Clinton’s current lead over Trump to his reluctance to incorporate analytics into his campaign strategy. Elan Kriegel and his team are setting a standard for elections to come with their reliance on predictive modeling and analytics software.
Donald Trump and Twitter
While social media has become a necessary tool for candidates during election seasons, Trump has really capitalized on the possibilities of twitter. With just shy of 13 million followers, Donald Trump’s Twitter account is a great place for his followers to get an interactive experience in the election.
Trump often prides himself on his Twitter account, and for good reason. He currently averages about 28,000 new followers daily on his account, churning out over 20 live tweets every day.
While Hillary Clinton has about 10 million followers on Twitter, her followers’ engagement is nowhere near that of Trump’s supporters. While Clinton’s tweets rarely surpass 5,000 likes, Trump’s rarely get below 20,000 likes. With a relatively similar amount of Twitter followers, it becomes clear that Trump is far better at leveraging his celebrity status through social media.
With the introduction of radio at the start of the 20th century, voters could hear their candidates speak; with television half a century later, it became possible to watch candidates’ speeches. The beauty of social media platforms like Twitter is the closeness one feels to their candidate.
Every like and retweet adds up, and Trump’s supporters have an interactive platform to agree with and support their candidate. No longer do his supporters watch from a distance as he campaigns. Twitter brings the excitement of the campaign to everyday Americans at their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Technology and Voting
A non-profit focused on increasing voter turnout since 2010, Democracy Works has two current projects, TurboVote and Ballot Scout.
The easy voting app, TurboVote is free and signup takes a couple minutes. The TurboVote database logs information about all 50 states and the voting rules and procedures associated with each one.
Once signed up, the app sends you text and email reminders as election deadlines approach to ensure your ballot is cast and your voice is heard.
There’s a certain level of uncertainty associated with voting by mail. Did my ballot reach its destination?
Why hasn’t the ballot I requested arrived yet?
Ballot Scout takes the worry out of mail-in-voting by allowing you to track your ballot, just like you would any other package. By adding a USPS Intelligent Mail barcode to every absentee ballot envelope, you get restored peace of mind that your ballot reached the election office.
A cost-effective, transparent addition to voting-by-mail, Ballot Scout works for both voters and election administrators. For more information, visit their website here.
Real Clear Politics
We’re sure you’ve read through political news before, and seen references to the RCP national average. Well, here’s the direct source.
Real Clear Politics averages all the recent polls together, providing a more accurate picture of how the candidates are doing. And it doesn’t stop at presidential candidates either. Search through and you’ll find polls conducted for open Senate seats and more.
We love the easy-to-read charts for the 2016 election with the RCP polling average, favorability ratings, and live betting odds. For the quick numbers that matter most, we recommend visiting their website.
The 2016 Election
The 2016 election is approaching, with only a week’s time until voting closes and the ballots are tallied. We hope you’re more informed about technology’s place in our political process, and in the coming years, we know its role in politics will only increase.
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