National microtargeting drove youth vote, not Prop. 30

Nov. 10, 2012

By Chris Reed

I have interviewed Tony Quinn for my old radio shows several times and acknowledge he knows way more about California politics than I do. But he is flatly, simply wrong when he writes the following about what brought people to the polls Nov. 6:

“The good news for Republicans is that they are no longer a dying party.  The bad news is that they are dead, and the final dagger into the corpse was the huge turnout of young voters on Tuesday – the exit polls show that 18 to 29 years olds made up 28 percent of the 2012 electorate.  This turnout was vastly different than the Field poll and other analysts anticipated, and it was driven by Proposition 30.”

The higher-than-expected youth vote was a national phenomenon not specific to California. Tony talks about turnout not being what Field anticipated. Nationally, Gallup didn’t have Barack Obama up one single day in the entire last month of its daily tracking poll. Why? It assumed, as did most of us, that the heavy youth turnout of 2008 couldn’t be repeated.

Instead, as The New York Times and others have reported repeatedly over the past year, the Obama camp’s use of behavorial scientists combined with an immense database on tens of millions of voters allowed the campaign to target email and social media pitches to individuals who needed encouragement to make it to the polls.

Sorry, Tony, but you’re just wrong.

More on microtargeting here.

Still more here.

“In politics, the era of big data has arrived.”

Tags assigned to this article:
Chris ReedmicrotargetingObamaTony Quinnturnout

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