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: 

Marijuana Reform Support Model Release

In celebration of 4/20, we'd like to highlight the release of our new Marijuana Reform Support model! The model predicts an individual’s likelihood of supporting marijuana policy liberalization. Click on the map below to see where the most people would support laws that allow them to celebrate! 

highest support for laws that allow them to celebrate!

top variables predicting marijuana reform support

Geocities Forever!!

Geocities Forever!!

After the devastating electoral losses in 2014, we here at Clarity Campaigns realized that our advanced modeling, analytics, and strategic services were not right for the needs of today's campaigns and candidates whose heydays were in the 1980s. We made the hard decision to abandon everything we've built and adopt the most cutting edge GOP technology platform we could find.

This new website is built on that very platform and showcases where we think GOP campaign technology and policy can take us.

Happy April 1st, 2016!

The Hill Publishes Partner's Op-Ed on Democratic Primary Turnout

Today, The Hill published an op-ed written by Clarity's own John Hagner and Paul Tencher of MWW PR. "The Truth About Primary Voter Turnout" is a response to recent claims that primary turnout could spell trouble for Democrats in November. 

 This is what cable news pundits want you to think: Thanks to surging voter turnout in Republican primaries—and lagging Democratic turnout—the GOP is expanding their base to historic levels, which will propel their party to winning the White House.    Unfortunately, the need for speed and campaign spin hides the truth that is publicly available in voter turnout data. Our data driven research finds that Democrats should be confident in their November coalition and Republicans shouldn’t be measuring the West Wing drapes anytime soon.     Read more :  http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/presidential-campaign/272381-the-truth-about-primary-voter-turnout

This is what cable news pundits want you to think: Thanks to surging voter turnout in Republican primaries—and lagging Democratic turnout—the GOP is expanding their base to historic levels, which will propel their party to winning the White House.  

Unfortunately, the need for speed and campaign spin hides the truth that is publicly available in voter turnout data. Our data driven research finds that Democrats should be confident in their November coalition and Republicans shouldn’t be measuring the West Wing drapes anytime soon.  

Read morehttp://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/presidential-campaign/272381-the-truth-about-primary-voter-turnout


Likely Voter Models Draw Attention Heading into 2016

With less than a month to go before the first votes are cast, the 2016 cycle is heating up. It seems as if this year more than ever candidates are touting polls on the campaign trail. Coinciding with increased campaign rhetoric focused on polling, Pew Research recently published a fascinating study testing methods pollsters use to identify likely voters. Pew concluded that rather than relying on voters to self-identify, verifying whether or not someone actually voted by matching respondents back to the voter file is significantly more accurate.

Clarity’s work was featured in Section 2: Measuring the Likelihood to Vote. Pew Researchers used TargetSmart’s voting file, which aggregates official state-level data and voting records, to verify respondents voting history. Their data contains a voter likelihood score developed by us here at Clarity. The Washington Post praised Clarity for having a “strong likely voter model,” and Pew Research found that models such as ours provide more accurate predictions of the eventual electorate.

For more on likely voter models, read the full report by Pew Research Center here

Be sure to check out the Washington Post's full article as well.

Introducing the New Clarity Portal

Introducing the New Clarity Portal

New for 2016, we developed a proprietary tool, called the Clarity Portal, to take all of your surveys and make them easily accessible and customizable. Our tool takes weighted raw data from any polling firm not just Clarity and creates toplines and crosstabs that are securely viewable from any web browser.

You can learn more on the Portal page in The Lab, and submit your information below to request a portal demo login.  

Clarity's Work Featured in Bloomberg

Clarity's John Hagner was recently interviewed for an article in Bloomberg about our work with down-ballot candidates in Ohio. You can read the full article below:

Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign team reinvented the art of modern campaigning by using data to transform almost every aspect of running for office. It succeeded wildly in turning out infrequent and new voters, and since then its innovations—which included mining individual TV-viewing habits to get more out of advertising dollars—have been hard-wired into both parties’ presidential campaigns. That’s led to the birth of dozens of consulting firms making grandiose promises to disrupt politics with analytics.

With more money flowing into local races in 2016 than ever, those consultants are marketing the data revolution not just to would-be presidents but to dogcatchers, too. In Ohio, the Republican Senate Campaign Committee’s four-person staff contracts with a Washington-based consulting firm, Optimus, to acquire data, develop statistical models, and make targeting decisions for candidates running for seats in the state legislature—the same suite of services Optimus is providing to Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. “If you’re Joe Legislative Candidate out on your own, that’s a hard thing to do,” says John McClelland, executive director of the Ohio committee.

In 2014 the committee spent $8 million to win three seats. About $700,000 of it went to Optimus. The firm’s analysis led the committee to seek out bargains when placing ads—such as skipping Sunday Night Football and buying airtime during Law & Order reruns, which cost a quarter as much but still delivered large numbers of likely voters. “We could have easily spent half our budget doing TV in those three races,” McClelland says. Buying television ad time without looking at data analytics, he says, means “you’re wasting a lot of dollars, because you’re talking to a lot of people who don’t need to hear your message.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a national group that spent more than $15 million on state-level races in 2014, bought the party’s statehouse candidates nationwide access to statistical models developed by Clarity Campaign Labs, in Washington, which specializes in predicting voter attitudes and behaviors. This year, Clarity has put its services in the hands of candidates even farther down the ballot. It’s created a statistical model to identify voters likely to show up for low-turnout municipal races.

For Elizabeth Brown, a city council candidate in Columbus, Ohio, Clarity went further and developed a proprietary model unique to her race, which typically costs around $30,000 but can be done for less when combined with research for other candidates. (Brown is not quite Joe Legislative Candidate: She’s the former deputy director of the state’s Democratic Party and daughter of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.) “Candidates hear ‘Obama did something,’ ” says Clarity partner John Hagner. Their response? “ ‘We have to do something.’ ”

From How Analytics Has Reshaped Political Campaigning Forever by Sasha Issenberg.

The Boston Globe: Environmental Group's Goal is to Get Non-Voters to the Polls

 The Environmental Voter Project, a nonprofit startup, is playing a longer game, seeking to coax more supporters of environmental causes into the political process.  The goal isn’t to win elections, but to change the overall electorate so that progressive environmental policies are given greater voice.  “If you dramatically increase voter demand for a particular set of issues, politicians will respond,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, the project’s founder and a veteran campaign strategist.  Using both predictive voter models and public voter files, the group is targeting people who do not regularly vote but rank the environment as a top political issue.  Earlier this year, researchers for the group found that nearly 16 million people who identify as environmentalists did not vote in the 2010 national elections. A September survey in Massachusetts estimated that 277,000 environmentalists sat out the 2014 governor’s election, and that nearly 100,000 weren’t even registered to vote.

The Environmental Voter Project, a nonprofit startup, is playing a longer game, seeking to coax more supporters of environmental causes into the political process.

The goal isn’t to win elections, but to change the overall electorate so that progressive environmental policies are given greater voice.

“If you dramatically increase voter demand for a particular set of issues, politicians will respond,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, the project’s founder and a veteran campaign strategist.

Using both predictive voter models and public voter files, the group is targeting people who do not regularly vote but rank the environment as a top political issue.

Earlier this year, researchers for the group found that nearly 16 million people who identify as environmentalists did not vote in the 2010 national elections. A September survey in Massachusetts estimated that 277,000 environmentalists sat out the 2014 governor’s election, and that nearly 100,000 weren’t even registered to vote.

Read more about our work with the Environmental Voter Project: Group's Goal is to Get Non-Voters to the Polls.

Clarity Poll for End Citizens United PAC shows Democrats Lead in Illinois & Wisconsin Senate Races

On Thursday, End Citizens United released the results of a poll we conducted for them showing Democrats leading in two key Senate races. In Illinois, Democratic Representative Tammy Duckworth leads current Senator Mark Kirk 45% to 41%. In Wisconsin,  Democrat Russ Feingold leads current Senator Ron Johnson 47% to 39%.  The results of our poll suggest a vast majority of respondents in both states oppose the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

Several media outlets covered the results. Read more from Roll Call, National Journal, and Daily Kos

 

New Office Space –just one block from the White House

New Office Space –just one block from the White House

Clarity Campaign Labs is excited to announce that this May we moved into brand new office space located just one block from the White House. The new space at 729 15th Street NW accommodates our growing team of analysts and developers as we continue our mission to provide fully integrated analytic solutions to a diverse portfolio of progressive clients.

After a summer of settling in, this past week Clarity hosted clients, family, and friends for an official office opening party! Thanks to all of those who were able to make it out. If we didn’t see you there, we look forward to welcoming even more clients and friends in the future. In the meantime, check out some photos of the space below.