Political operatives from each end of the political spectrum had a conversation where they basically agreed about everything at Twitter’s temporary South by Southwest HQ on Sunday night in downtown Austin. The topic: how data can better activate voters. The remarks from the campaign for Sen. Ted Cruz stood out both for their urgency and for the solution they described for the unusual political problem of Donald Trump’s media dominance.
The panel’s moderator, CNN’s Ashley Codianni, asked Mr. Cruz’s lead digital strategist, Chris Wilson, how his campaign coped with the fact that Mr. Trump so completely dominates in earned media (the term political types use for free media—stories where they make news rather than paying for attention with ads).
She wasn’t the only one wondering. Another panelist, Tara McGowan, from Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton, came to the event with the same question.
“We are spending more than any GOP campaign on digital targeting,” Mr. Wilson said. The Washington Post went into detail about how that targeting works in December. In short, the Cruz campaign is crafting much more specific digital messages to individual voters. Gun rights are promoted as a defense against crime to voters profiled as fearful. Supporters profiled as extroverts are the first to get asked to take on leadership roles.
Mr. Wilson argued that the campaign has the resources such that it knows exactly which voters are likely to be choosing between the candidate winning in media, Mr. Trump, and Mr. Cruz. They will then put a volunteer on each of those voter’s doorsteps with a message ready about the number one issue of concern to that person.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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