Washington Post: Letting people vote at home increases voter turnout. Here’s proof.

Clarity's Likely Voter models were used for a compelling study on vote by mail:

The challenge in trying to evaluate the impact of vote at home on turnout is that there’s never a control group. Turnout rates in the states where everyone can vote at home — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have increased since the system was adopted, and they’re now among the highest in the country. But because elections are complicated, and each state’s demographics are unique, it’s hard to prove that vote at home is the cause. 

 So Pantheon Analytics did the next best thing. The firm looked at voter files — the records of individual voters kept by state elections officials — in Colorado in 2014 and compared them with the predictions of a respected voter turnout model created by the Democratic-leaning consulting firm Clarity Campaign Labs. Turnout models use publicly available voter file information — age, sex, voting history — combined with consumer data to generate a probability score for each registered voter. 

Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/letting-people-vote-at-home-increases-voter-turnout-heres-proof/2018/01/26/d637b9d2-017a-11e8-bb03-722769454f82_story.html

Politico Pro: Democratic Polling Shows Obamacare Repeal Tax Reform Hurt Republicans

We worked with Not One Penny and Protect Our Care to test the impact of educating voters about how Republican incumbents voted on health care and taxes. Using a treatment and control structure, we found that both issues were equally effective in driving up negative ratings at about the same level.

Subscribe to Politic Pro to read more: https://www.politicopro.com/tax/article/2018/01/democratic-polling-shows-obamacare-repeal-tax-reform-hurt-republicans-310475

HuffPost: Abortion Isn’t Main Reason More Republicans Still Won’t Back Doug Jones, New Poll Finds

We were excited to see our survey vote for Planned Parenthood Votes covered by HuffPost:

On Nov. 4-5, Clarity Campaign Labs, a Democratic polling firm, surveyed 707 Alabama voters in a survey commissioned by Planned Parenthood Votes. (Planned Parenthood has no involvement in the Alabama special election and has not endorsed a candidate.) The results were shared with HuffPost. 
Clarity Campaign Labs was specifically interested in Republican voters who might be persuaded to back Jones. The survey found that less than 1.5 percent of Moore’s supporters said they had considered switching and backing Jones. 
The pollster then tried to figure out why those voters decided to stick with Moore. Was it because of Jones’ support for abortion rights? 
But Clarity didn’t want to limit people with a list of possible answers. So they were asked to explain, in their own words, why they continued to reject Jones. 
“Abortion wasn’t really in the top couple issues people gave us,” said John Hagner, the Clarity pollster who conducted the survey.
More than one-third of those Republican voters who said they decided not to switch to Jones gave a reason that fell into the category of just generally not liking him. Ten percent said they didn’t like his personal history. (Jones is a former U.S. attorney best known for finally putting Ku Klux Klan members behind bars for blowing up an African-American church back in 1963.) Eight percent cited abortion as the reason. 
“Of the people who were undecided, they weren’t citing choice as the major driver,” Hagner said. “Of the people who had considered voting for Jones and decided not to, there was a whole range of issues.”
Clarity conducted the poll before women came forward and alleged that Moore had pursued them when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s. Presumably, there are more Republicans giving Jones a second look. But Hagner said he didn’t think abortion would now become a more significant factor in the race. 
“If there was a pro-life Democrat running in this race, would he or she be doing better? We don’t see any evidence here that that’s the case,” he added. “There are people who won’t vote for any Democrat because of choice, but those are people who wouldn’t vote for any Democrat. They aren’t inclined, they’re not winnable voters.”

Read more at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doug-jones-abortion-poll_us_5a25473fe4b03c44072eca22

John Hagner Joins Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily

Clarity Partner John Hagner recently sat down with Chuck Todd to talk differential non-response bias on Meet the Press Daily. One of the issues in 2016 was a struggle to fully capture rural, white, non-college voters. "The kind of people who will talk to strangers about politics just aren't representative of the ones who won't," said Hagner when discussing what Todd calls a "polling blindspot." People will happily answer who they are voting for, but once you start to scrutinize that vote, they tend to opt-out. While this isn't the way a majority of the electorate behaves, it is certainly enough to tip the balance. Todd notes that even in their own surveys at NBC, they have experienced lower response rates and completed surveys in rural America. 

Check out more from the segment at the link below, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @claritycampaign to keep up with the latest news as we continue to unpack this issue.

 

http://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/-one-of-the-problems-with-polling-909523523710

 

Politico: Democrats burned by polling blind spot

John Hagner, a partner at Clarity Campaign Labs, a D.C.-based Democratic analytics firm, said 2016 taught the party a hard lesson about polling in the Trump era.
“The folks who would talk to a stranger about politics just aren’t representative of people who wouldn’t,” he said.
The first evidence of the party’s polling blind spot surfaced in a governor’s race, the 2015 contest in Kentucky. Both public and private polls going into the election showed Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin running neck-and-neck — Conway had a 3-point lead in the final RealClearPolitics average — but Bevin won by a comfortable, 9-point margin.

Read more at https://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/democrats-trump-polling-236560

John Hagner Talks Early Voting on POLITICO's "Off Message"

Last week, John Hagner sat down with POLITICO's Glenn Thrush to talk early voting. Joining him was Mark Stephenson, founder of Republican data science firm Red Oak Strategic. The podcast aims to answer questions about how campaigns use sophisticated data operations to make predictions and decisions based on early vote patterns. Early Voting has been on the rise in recent years and it is expected that early and absentee ballots could account for almost 40% of entire votes cast in 2016. "Every cycle since I have been doing campaigns, Early Voting has increased in its importance. It has become a larger and larger piece of the electorate...This cycle we expect that more than a third of the national Presidential votes will come in early," said Hagner. This emphasizes why it is crucial for any modern campaign to have an organized ground game that can utilize likely voter models and candidate support scores to turnout voters. Currently, Clinton has the edge in early voting-- backing up conventional wisdom that Clinton has a far superior ground game than that of the Republican nominee. Citing Clarity's models, Hagner stated, "As of [Thursday] night, 16.35 million votes have been cast. Our modeling says that Hillary Clinton is winning them by 5.7%." While noting that we are up overall, John encouraged everyone to knock on doors, make calls, and get out and vote! 

To hear more about early voting, check out the podcast available today on iTunes or read Glenn's article titled Scandals Matter, but So Does Turnout.

 

Every cycle since I have been doing campaigns, early voting has increased in its importance. This cycle we expect that more than a third of the national presidential votes will come in early.
— Hagner on POLITICO's "Off Message"

UPDATE: Clarity Partners with Bloomberg Politics for Battleground State Analysis

Back in September, we wrote about our partnership with Bloomberg Politics to bring you an eight-article series focusing on battleground states for 2016. We are only one week away from the end of a tumultuous campaign cycle and all eight articles are now available. The data-driven series featured Clarity’s national models, such as our party score and turnout score, to make assessments about the electorate and what each campaign would need to do in order to win the swingiest of swing states.  Below you can find a link to each article as well as brief summary.

Battlegrounds Week 1: How the Battleground Game is Played

A quick primer on base votes, GOTV targets, and persuadable voters.

Battlegrounds Week 2: Tracing Donald Trump’s Rust-Belt Route

Trump has a narrow path to the White House, and any route he takes to get there almost certainly runs through the rust-belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. For Bloomberg’s first piece, we looked at working class white males living near factories that have closed in these key states.

Battlegrounds Week 3: Gaming the Six Week Election Day

We know that early vote has become an increasingly important piece of campaign strategy, but where does it matter most? This week looks at “The Arithmetic” in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, and Ohio.

Battlegrounds Week 4: The Clinton Campaign Has a Millennial Math Problem

After a longer than expected primary battle with Senator Sanders, the Clinton campaign has found itself struggling to get millennials fully on board. In this piece, we looked at who we might reasonably believe are Sanders “holdouts” and whether or not that would change the equation for Clinton in New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Battlegrounds Week 5: Which States Can Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Spoil?

In a follow-up to Week 5, we helped Bloomberg identify voters that could cast ballots for third-parties. Clinton probably has more to lose to third-party candidates (See Week 4 for why) but what states could this plausibly tip the balance?

Battlegrounds Week 6: Hillary Clinton’s Military Targets

Generally, those with some connection to the military are more reliably Republican voters, but Trump’s confusing foreign policy, often at odds with the party, seems to have put significant amounts of military voters in play. This week we conducted an analysis of voters in close proximity to military bases to weigh Trump’s vulnerabilities in states like Virginia and Geogia.

Battlegrounds Week 7: In Search of the Never-Trump-Ticket-Splitters

If Republicans want to hold onto the Senate, they may very well have to concede the White House to Clinton. We went looking for those Americans splitting their vote between Clinton and other GOP candidates, and calculated the share of ticket splitter targets in key states.

Battlegrounds Week 8: Clinton’s Florida Secret Weapon—New Puerto Rican Arrivals

Puerto Ricans fleeing the debt crisis and settling down in Florida may be a boost to Clinton’s chances of winning this key battleground state. In the final week, we looked at the share of Hispanic voters in and around key parts of Florida that lead Democrats to victory.  

Once again, special thanks to Bloomberg Politics' Sasha Issenberg and Steven Yaccino for their detailed work on this project. 

 

Clarity's Hillary Cutout Makes it Big

We love this new ad from our friends at Emily's List . The real star isn't James Franco, but our office's very own Hillary Clinton cutout. James, we also have a Time Kaine we could lend you if you ever need it. He is a little jealous currently. 

Clarity Releases New Clinton Support Model

With only 17 days to go until election day, we’d like to highlight the release of two new models. Our National Clinton Support Model predicts an individual’s likelihood of supporting Hillary Clinton for President and was trained on a combined dataset of nearly 82,000 interviews. The Clinton Support Score will be included in our bundle of National Models, as well as a crosstab in any polls conducted between now and election day. We’re proud to be standing with Hillary Clinton as she works to become our next President. 

To supplement the Clinton Support Model, we also created an Ohio state-specific model to identify what we have dubbed the Vindictive Trump Supporter Model. It predicts a Trump supporter’s likelihood of punishing down-ballot Republicans who denounce Trump in the 2016 General Election. We interviewed likely Trump Supporters in the wake of leaked tapes from 2005 that prompted several elected Republicans to withdraw their support of the nominee. Our model yielded 670,000 Ohio Voters with scores greater than 40, meaning that a significant amount of people would be less supportive of down-ballot Republicans if they denounce Trump.

For more information on these models or any of our other products and services, feel free to send us an email.

Clarity Partners with Bloomberg Politics for Battleground State Analysis

Clarity Campaign Labs has partnered with Bloomberg Politics for an eight-article series focusing on battleground states in the upcoming general election. The special report, called Battlegrounds, was first introduced earlier this month. The series has featured Clarity's party scores and national models to classify the American electorate into five categories. These groups, which include base supporters for both candidates, get-out-the-vote voters for both candidates (those who will likely support a candidate, but just need a bit of a push to get them to the polls) and the "persuadables" (those whose party allegiances and voting tendencies are both relatively shaky), will permeate the report going forward.

Battlegrounds, which just released its third article yesterday, features special analysis by Clarity. The first piece includes research on working class white males living near factories that have closed in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. The second piece focuses on early voting tendencies in six key states: Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, and Ohio. Shifting towards the younger electorate, the most recent piece, delves into Bernie Sanders' millennial supporters in New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, using Clarity's College Scores and geographic voterfile data. 

Clarity Campaign Labs uses voter-registration organized and maintained through TargetSmart. Our team of data scientists and analysts combine this voter data with other public sources to create proprietary scores and models like those mentioned in Battlegrounds. 

For more information on partnering with Clarity, send us an email to learn more about our products and services. 

Special thanks to Bloomberg Politics' Sasha Issenberg and Steven Yaccino for their detailed work on this project. Be sure to follow Bloomberg Politics online for updates as the series continues to roll out until November.

Dan Castleman Featured in New eBook, Data and Democracy

Clarity's own Dan Castleman, Co-founder and Director of Analytics, has been featured in the recently published eBook, Data and Democracy, available for free download (via O'Reilly Media). As the Director of Analytics, Dan is at the forefront of Clarity's mission to providing fully integrated analytic solutions to Democratic campaigns and progressive non-profits. 

Data and Democracy, edited by Andrew Therriault, former Director of Data Science for the Democratic National Committee, features eight curated essays from experts on both sides of the aisle that focus on the use of data science in the 2016 United States elections. Dan's essay, entitled, "Essentials of Modeling and Microtargeting," describes the differences between modeling and microtargeting, the basic strategy for implementation that drives their use in modern campaigns, and a few common examples of the modeling techniques developed at Clarity.

In his essay, Dan makes it clear that models, that often use polling data from as many 20,000 individual voter responses, are most effective in improving the long term efficiency of campaigns, as opposed to "horse-race" election polls that might use as few as 400 responses to illustrate short-term candidate support for a closely watched race. Deciding which models to build for a particular campaign stems directly from the targeting needs of the geographic area in question. According to Dan, "it is not just important to identify whom voters support and whether they are persuadable, but also whether or not they will take their support to the polls." To help illustrate this argument, he created an illustration that groups populations of voters based on their candidate preference and likelihood of voting. "This strategic thinking explains why turnout and support scores are the most common (and in many cases, the most useful) models for campaigns."

To learn more about the Clarity products featured in Dan's essay, and for a full list of models available at our firm, visit our catalog at http://www.claritycampaigns.com/services

What does Donald Trump think of Tuesday's primary states?

The following article was reposted with permission from the author (original post on Medium by Josh Hendler, CTO @ Purpose). 

In politics, there’s an awful lot of time spent predicting what voters think of candidates. But wouldn’t it be good to know what the candidates think of voters?

Two weeks ago, Purpose Labs launched FreeTrumpScore.com, with an algorithm that answers the question “What does Donald Trump think of you?”, predicting Americans’ possible fates under a President Trump (many new jobs at Trump Steaks). Since then, we’ve generated nearly 250,000 Trump Scores. YUGE!

Today, we’re taking the next step. Purpose has partnered with Clarity Campaign Labs to answer this question for every voter in Tuesday’s upcoming primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Created by poring over months of Trump’s hateful rhetoric, an individual's Trump Score is determined by gender, ethnicity, Trump support, sexual orientation, income, country of origin, religion and hand size. Using its background in voter modeling and analytics, Clarity has generated scores for on top of a national voter database. Sadly, we’ve been unable to obtain any data about voter hand size.

Based on these individual-level scores, we’ve ranked Tuesday’s primaries based on who has the most The Worst People.

#5: Pennsylvania

 PA, red indicates a lower Trump Score, green indicates a higher score. 

PA, red indicates a lower Trump Score, green indicates a higher score. 

A mere 46% of Pennsylvania voters are either The Worst People or Very Bad People. And 21% of Pennsylvanians are The Best People. Good for you, PA, a lifetime membership at Mar-a-lago might be in store for you!

#4: Maryland

 Red indicates a lower Trump Score, green indicates a higher score

Red indicates a lower Trump Score, green indicates a higher score

While 54% of Maryland residents are The Worst People or Very Bad People, 17% are The Best People, which might mean a Vice Presidential nod or a chance to become a Miss Universe Scout.

#3: Rhode Island

 Red indicates a lower Trump score, green indicates a higher score

Red indicates a lower Trump score, green indicates a higher score

While Rhode Island doesn’t have the most The Worst People, it does win the prize for combined The Worst People and Very Bad People! Rhode Island, look out for your compulsory copy of Trump Magazine. Study up!

#2: Connecticut

 

 39% of Connecticut voters are "The Worst People" 

39% of Connecticut voters are "The Worst People" 

49% of Connecticut voters fall either into The Worst People or Very Bad People bands. Get ready to help build that wall.

And… #1: Delaware

 Red indicates a lower Trump score, green indicates a higher score.

Red indicates a lower Trump score, green indicates a higher score.

40% of Delaware Residents are The Worst People. Trump Resort, Guantanamo Bay might get a bit crowded.

Want to know what Donald Trump thinks of you? Find out at FreeTrumpScore.com.

 

Full breakdown below: