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March 20, 2013

Obama's NCAA Brackets

It's that time of year again.

Normally I don't care about Obama's brackets or anyone's really but...before we mock this again (and it's mock worthy), remember this is the world we live in. You know those low information voters we've been bitching about and saying we need to reach? This is how you get to them.

It's hard now for the GOP do this kind of thing without a President or even being close to a nominee but changing the GOP brand is going to be a bottom up thing. Republicans at the local, congressional district and state levels are going to need to embrace these opportunities and find new ones.

Complain about it all you want but it's the reality of modern politics.

At Evolving Strategies, we tested the impact of four Romney and three Obama ads on vote preferences and voter enthusiasm just before the first primary debate. One of these was a widely-aired ad produced by Americans For Prosperity, in which Obama voters express their disappointment with the president. The “Disappointed” ad consistently won favor in the traditional focus-group setting as a message that would shift swing voters and appeal to women.

Our randomized, controlled experiment, however, found the “Disappointed” ad didn’t move voters toward Romney. But it did increase enthusiasm among men who voted for McCain in 2008 and sapped the enthusiasm of male Obama ’08 voters.

Surprisingly, the “Disappointed” ad failed as the soft-edged appeal to swing voters for which it was intended, but seemed very effective as red meat for male voters in Romney’s base and for demobilizing Democratic men. Instead of airing the ad on networks that would reach a broad audience in the middle, they should have run it around the clock on ESPN.

I'd recommend that whole article for a look at what the GOP data revolution might look like.

On the other hand, I'd caution against falling to in love with data collection and exploitation as a cure all or even a deciding factor. All that data can help you find voters who maybe sympathetic to you that you haven't been able to reach but ultimately that sort of stuff only gets you a look. The message and underlying worldview are still going to be important.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:42 PM

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