Welcome back to Campaign Data 101, where we break down the what, how, and why of using data to run an innovative and efficient campaign. Earlier this week, we covered how to use Data in your campaign in finance & internal operations in part 3 of our blog series. Here, we’ll highlight some examples of successful data-driven projects and some great resources to empower you in your data science journey.
Missed our previous Campaign Data 101 articles?
Let’s finish strong!
Successes: Data Case Studies & Helpful Resources
Data alone does not win or lose a campaign, but it can inform and propel campaign efforts to reach more voters and, potentially, turn the tides of an election. In the following examples, Bluebonnet Data teams worked with their campaign partners to enhance campaign strategy using data.
Data alone does not win or lose a campaign, but it can inform and propel campaign efforts to reach more voters and, potentially, turn the tides of an election.
Case Studies in Data
Case Study #1: Chloe Maxmin’s Victory in Maine
Maine Senate District 13, located along the coast between Portland and Bangor, looked similar to many of the other promising down-ballot districts in 2020: it was nestled in between blue districts and was held by a Republican who just barely kept the seat during 2018’s Blue Wave. However, unlike many of the similarly promising districts in 2020, District 13 stood out in 2020 because it actually did flip in an extremely tough election cycle for down-ballot Democrats.
Case Study #2: Flipping Wisconsin
From July through November 2020, a Bluebonnet team worked with Tom Palzewicz’s campaign in Wisconsin's 5th Congressional district, providing much-needed data support to an under-resourced campaign. Even though the WI-05 district was extremely red, it was ripe for Democratic vote gain. If Democrats could hold or even reduce that margin, it would most likely flip the state for Joe Biden in 2020.
Bluebonnet Data doesn't shy away from red districts. We can make the biggest gains in the districts that are typically ignored.
Case Study #3: Paulette Jordan’s Run for the Idaho Senate
While there is a growing population of strong Democratic supporters in hubs like Boise, and Medicaid expansion passed in 2018 displaying general support of progressive policy, the state remains obstinately Republican, cycle after cycle. Paulette Jordan ran in 2020 to unseat Republican Senator Jim Risch, looking to prove that these trends in Idaho could be realized in the form of Democratic votes at the ballot box. Paulette’s Bluebonnet team helped her build a campaign strategy, find donors, and integrate voter contact data.
“There’s a lot of potential in Idaho for progressive issues and we saw that evidenced by the passage of Medicaid expansion in 2018. Building on that momentum, our Bluebonnet team brought value to the campaign and helped strengthen our digital infrastructure in a truly substantial way.”
- Paulette Jordan
Resources We Love
Political Tools & Training:
Arena Toolbox: Toolkits, tutorials, and templates for building winning campaigns.
National Democratic Training Committee: Free training for all Democrats and Progressives, in-person and online.
Down-Ballot Analysis Tool from TargetSmart and Way to Win.
Free Project Management Tech & Methods:
Trello: Visual project management software for teams.
Airtable: Dynamic system for managing your projects and data (like a souped-up Excel).
The Management Center: Training, coaching, and tools for managers.
Asana: Web tool designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work.
Monday: Free personal project management tool, low-priced options for teams.
Other Tech You Should Know About:
Data.Census.Gov: Interactive maps and tables of data from the 2020 Census.
DistrictBuilder: Draw your own district maps using the new Census data.
Deck: Advanced voter targeting and universe creation with dynamic scores.
BallotReady: Sample ballots for any address with background information on candidates and ballot measures.
CiviTech: Political tool that can be used for campaign and nonprofit management, voter registration, GOTV, and more.
Warchest: A financial management system designed to be flexible for campaigns working at different budget levels.
People Power: Want smart, passionate, young folx to help with your data? Bring on a Bluebonnet team! You can also learn more about us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for joining us for this four-part series for getting to know the basics of Campaign Data. Here at Bluebonnet, we believe in making progressive politics as accessible to everyone as possible-- whether that means being involved as a volunteer on a political campaign or even running as a candidate for the first time. Hopefully, this series was able to explain some of the most effective ways we can use data to run successful campaigns.
If you like what you’ve read and want to learn more, or even just geek out about data, you can reach us at email@example.com. Or, follow us on any of our social media channels!
About the Author
Becca Blais is the Executive Director of Bluebonnet Data. As Bluebonnet's first employee and now Executive Director, Becca believes in the importance of investing in talent and data infrastructure at the most local level. Follow her on Twitter & Medium.