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Political Campaigns Discovering Predictive Analytics

March 03, 2008

Call centers like predictive analytics. It lets them know when customers are likely to call, and why, so they can have the right amount of resources available.

Call centers are not the only organizations that like to make predictions, particularly in a presidential election year.

Political organizations are increasingly using predictive analytics software, according to predictive analytics provider SPSS (News - Alert) Inc., to analyze, model and score demographic and behavioral data, along with attitudes and opinions, to find voters most likely to support a candidate or to reach the undecided “swing vote.”


Campaign strategists are now deploying these data to better persuade voters by identifying and communicating the right message on key voter issues, such as education, healthcare or immigration, through targeted and personalized direct mailings, phone calls or door-to-door canvassing.

SPSS customer Strategic Telemetry, a Washington D.C.-based political consulting service, provides strategic advice and voter targeting services for progressive organizations and campaigns. Ken Strasma, president of Strategic Telemetry, founded the organization in 2003 and is considered to be a pioneer in the use of high-tech statistical modeling in Democratic campaigns.

“Public interest in recent elections has skyrocketed and voters increasingly want to be more engaged and informed on all points of the candidacy,” said Strasma. “Campaigns that strategically use Predictive Analytics to effectively analyze and target an undecided voter are far more effectively providing them with messages on issues they care about.”

The Southern Political Information Network (SPIN), a coalition of campaign experts that provides strategic services to southern Democratic Party organizations and political campaigns, uses SPSS Predictive Analytics software as a core of its consulting. Carl Clark, executive director at SPIN located in Charlotte, North Carolina, advises on many political campaigns – ranging from town council to statewide races – and knows the importance of predictive analytics in a candidate’s strategy.

“As many seasoned political experts have witnessed, it is entirely possible for a precinct's population to radically differ from one political cycle to the next. Political campaigns are most successful through analysis and targeting potential or undecided voters,” said Clark. “It’s like having a treasure map when others may be just digging in the sand, hoping to hit pay-dirt. Using SPSS Predictive Analytics has also significantly lowered the cost of our resources – from campaign personnel to the cost of mailings and other communications.”

SPSS Predictive Analytics software gives political organizations the ability to use a precise mathematical fact-based science to create a one-to-one communication with voters based on in-depth personalized information culled from all available data.

Jack Noonan, SPSS chairman, president and CEO, added, “Harnessing the power of Predictive Analytics gives political organizations a distinct advantage by providing specific, real-time recommendations on how to connect to the right constituents to win an election. SPSS Predictive Analytics enables organizations, from political campaigns to retailers to financial institutions, to personally target and identify the right individuals and then understand how to reach them, when to make contact, and what messages should be communicated.” to retailers to financial institutions, to personally target and identify the right individuals and then understand how to reach them, when to make contact, and what messages should be communicated.”

For more information about SSPS, visit www.spss.com.

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