Calculating Need to Win Number Part 2  by Peter Bratt

By at February 24, 2016 | 11:22 am | Print

Calculating Need to Win Number Part 2  by Peter Bratt

Peter Bratt

Transcript of an interview with Peter Bratt, CEO of PAB Consulting with Ron Turner,
Founder, Frontrunner 2020.

Now that Jack has gathered his data, he is starting to think of ways to analyze all this information. Previous generations of humanity struggled with lack of shelter, food, and clothing, this generation struggles with processing an overwhelming amount of information, and this is no different in politics either.

Jack puts the following bits of information into his excel table. Think of it as ingredients to making a tasty piece of cake; you need precinct identification, the number of registered voters, the number of actual voters, the voter turnout percentage, the number of early voters, the number of absentee voters, and the number of voters for each candidate (and the resulting percentage).

Before starting to work, Jack decides to grab a precinct map of his district from the City of Dallas. You can generally find precinct maps along with the election data, and make sure you have a copy of the map nearby while you do your analysis.

Jack puts his data together, and makes sure that he saves the information before moving forward. While he does so, he takes a look at a map of District 14. He knows that Angela Hunt won the district four times, and that she lives on the east side of the district. From his own experience, he feels that District 14 can be divided into three different sections; East Dallas, Uptown, and Bluffview.

Since Jack is running in a non-partisan race, he needs to do some more detailed analysis so that he can make sure that he is aware of the unique dynamics in this race, as opposed to partisan races that have a more easily identifiable partisan trend.

When looking at the precincts, you should look for your expected areas of strength and weakness. High turnout areas that have high levels of support for you are going to be good areas to target. By averaging turnout and support trends, Jack can see which parts of District 14 might be areas that can pull him to victory.

So, now that Jack has completed some detailed precinct analysis, he is ready to look at the results. He decided to look first at a part of East Dallas known as Junius Heights and Hollywood Heights.

So, Jack pulls up the election data from 2005 and spends a moment looking at the information. He notes that turnout was 16% in 2005, and that Hunt won 53% of the total vote in these four precincts. This win margin here was much higher than in the rest of District 14 (Hunt later won the runoff for election much more handily).

In 2007, Hunt walloped a challenger quite handily, although turnout dropped slightly.

In 2009 Hunt was unchallenged. Yet still 571 voters cast ballots in this race. These voters are ones that you should contact in your campaigning, as they will be strongly inclined to vote regardless.

In 2011 Hunt faced a contested election with three challengers. She again significantly outperformed in Junius Heights and Hollywood Heights compared to the rest of the district, and turnout was higher in this part of town as well.

Jack also decides to pull the census data for each precinct. So he gets the 2010 Census data, and finds that of the 5,655 residents able to vote and living in these four precincts, 4,193 are registered. Looking at the demographic data, he also notes that this neighborhoods is overwhelmingly white, although it is becoming much more Hispanic.

Jack decides to look at this information in the previous slides over time. When he does, he sees that the number of registered voters has increased slightly between 2005 and 2011, and the number of actual voters as also slightly increased.

Since Jack needs to get 52% of the total vote, he takes the number of currently registered voters, and figures out that he can expect about 622 voters if he averages turnout over the past four years. With an average turnout of 622 voters, he needs to get 325 of these voters to cast ballots for him.

So how does Jack turn his target of 52% of the total vote into reality? He looks at his universe of voters, and targets voters who are likely to vote, and are especially likely to vote for him.

Jack can create his own voter lists, or he can use a private vendor like Aristotle to build his own list of voters. He also needs to see which sort of voters to target. If he is a Republican running in a non-partisan race, he would probably want to identify voters who cast ballots in a Republican primary as likely targets.

So, will Jack decide to run? We’ll have to wait and see. However, given that he decided to do a well-thought out precinct analysis, he is in good shape if he says yes.

Thank you so much for letting me chat today Ron. As always, if viewers have any questions, need more information, or just want to say hi, they can contact me.

Watch the entire interview with powerpoint  here.

Peter Bratt, CEO PAB Consulting;  specializing in voter analysis and targeting.  Peter is an expert in geographical political analysis.  He holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan and a political science degree from Calvin College. He has provided winning advice to campaigns in Michigan and Pennsylvania before moving to Texas.  He has spent 2011 serving as a consultant on redistricting efforts here and works at every level, including local non-partisan races.

PAB Consulting Facebook   214 422 2434      

Ron Turner, Founder and CEO of People Calling People. Services include low-cost automated polls that report voters’ priority issues, test message points, and rank favorability. PCP also conducts live voter outreach programs. In 2011, Ron launched frontrunner2020 to support and encourage those on the journey towards elected office.

People Calling People    Frontrunner 2020    214 506 2834
frontrunner2020 on YouTube

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