Had a lively discussion today about algorithms and the Presidential campaign. I was being asked to attend a party meeting and see how I thought one party could get their candidates elected. My answer? Algorithmic campaigning.
First up? The candidate… and look no further than Rick Santorum swearing at a reporter for being misunderstood. Who’s fault was that? Santorum’s. Can it be prevented? Absolutely. It just takes a little math!
IDEA Algorithms can read and analyze every piece of news reported on a presidential campaign, including comments by citizens. Hours after a speech in Dallas, every word uttered by anyone can be captured and analyzed to see if the candidate was misrepresented, misquoted, misunderstood. But here’s the kicker. These algorithms help write the speeches. What resonates in this city versus another campaign stop? Where does the candidate have to tread lightly? What language does the candidate need to use to drive a point home. An hour after the speech, we will know how the candidate did and what to change for next time… Every critique, position, comment is cataloged and classified. This takes knowing your audience to a whole new level!
But it doesn’t have to be after a speech. If the candidate is coming to New Orleans, the speech process can be informed by the algorithms before the plane touches down. Newspapers can be analyzed, columnists, bloggers, you name it. We are not asking a candidate to change their position. We are asking the candidate to focus on certain positions that resonate and will likely get support by the media in that city. We are asking the candidate to stress certain positions over others. These algorithms can even help inform who the candidate should meet with and grant interviews to, both friendly and unfriendly. The math determines the influencers in each market.
Not only does this work in Dallas and every other campaign stop, it works on the national level. Heck, it will work with Wolf Blitzer. Before a candidate sits for an interview, a full dossier is generated by the algorithms. Candidate knows when Wolf is going to interrupt an answer before Wolf does!
Idea #2. Fundraise using resumes. Download resumes and analyze them down to the sentence. Send very specialized campaign emails to each thin slice of the electorate. You work in the healthcare field, you get specific emails. Work on Wall Street, you get different emails. It’s about customizing the message down to the voter’s specific areas of interest. You were a Boy Scout, here’s one message. You went to BYU, here’s your message. You have a Masters, same thing. And the analytic value will be huge. I know every article the voter opened. I know if you forwarded my campaign email. You never click on an article that criticizes the other candidate… no problem, you will never see those articles again.
Algorithms help manage the candidate message for maximum impact. And algorithms help with highly-tuned fundraising. After all, not an email is sent that doesn’t ask for money. But at least this email speaks directly to the voter.