DISTRICT COMPETITIVENESS ANALYSIS
Using the District Comparison Feature on the Campaigns Dashboard:
REAL Strategies has developed a new Campaigns Dashboard that combines many of the features of our existing Voter and Elections Dashboards all in one place. The Campaigns Dashboard also offers several new features including our new District Comparison feature that allows users to conduct district competitiveness analysis.
Using the District Comparison feature users can select the criteria they want to compare districts on and then visualize those differences in a highlighted table (pictured below).
Some of the criteria that can be used for this comparison include: Voter Registration Statistics, Model Scores, Election Results, and Demographics. This feature can be to compare a wide variety of districts including: Congressional District, State Senate District, State House District, and County. Users simply click the Setup button at the top of the District Comparison page, and a dialogue box will appear where users can toggle through the various comparison options (pictured to the right).
The District Comparison feature gives user the ability to highlight and compare key trends across a wide variety of variables. Users can even apply filters to this page that allow them to analyze particular target audiences across districts. The main purpose of this feature is to give users the ability to identify districts of interest by giving the ability to compare and highlight districts in a flexible nature that focuses on the data points that are truly of interest to them.
After using this feature to quickly identify districts of interest, users can then use the dashboard to analyze the demographics and past election results of those districts, and query and download targeted voter lists for key target audiences. It is the perfect tool to guide campaign decisions and provide direct access to the country's most comprehensive and up-to-date voter file.
One of the key comparisons that the feature offers is the GAP Analysis visualization, which allows users to compare voter registration trends and modeled party and turnout trends across districts. Visualizing these trends empowers users to easily conduct a process called District Competitiveness Analysis, which can be used to inform campaign decisions by determining how competitive a district is expected to be in upcoming elections.
The District Competitiveness Analysis provides a breakdown of district competitiveness for every Congressional District, State Senate District, State House District, and County. These numbers are put together using our Turnout Model and our Partisanship Model based on your State’s registration data as well as available consumer and demographic data.
This tool shows the partisanship of a district with all factors being equal. Our data team compares the Democrat and Republican partisanship gap in each district based on our partisanship models and state voter registration data, where available.
Perhaps the most valuable approach to using this new tool is to look at the makeup of districts using our partisanship model and restricting to just likely voters for the general election. Those numbers provide incredible insight into the partisanship makeup of districts that will hopefully help with strategic planning on how to engage in independent expenditures this year.
Using those numbers, we categorized each district as follows:
< 5% gap -- Toss up (Could see an incredibly competitive race with a very slim margin of victory for either candidate)
5% - 10% gap --Competitive R/D seat (Could see other party win under right circumstances)
10% - 15% gap -- Likely R/D seat (Very unlikely, but could be winnable by other party in extreme circumstances)
15% - 20% gap -- Strong R/D seat (Would be just a massive upset, but cannot totally be written-off)
>20%+ gap -- SAFE R/D seat (Almost unthinkable that this district would ever vote for the other party)
Obviously, the outcomes of elections depend largely on the quality of individual candidates, party organization, outside help from PACs and other groups, national waves, and many other variables, but the District Comparison feature serves as a vital tool for understanding changes in districts going into the upcoming general election.
Using the District Comparison feature to conduct a District Competitiveness Analysis, your team can come up with some quick takeaways on which seats are really competitive, which seats are could maybe be competitive depending on candidate quality and other factors, and which seats are likely safe for the incumbent party. You can then use the dashboard to further analyze districts of interest and query and download key target audiences to be used for outreach.
As a reminder, we would love to help you and your locals with IE campaign outreach, whether NAR is involved or not. As you know, we have a full-service campaign shop that offers everything from direct mail to TV. We also offer targeted digital and social media advertising, which could be an especially good way for us to help your candidates this year.
Like all of our dashboards, the Campaigns Dashboard is highly customizable, and we would love to hear your input as to whether these categories match with your experience on the ground or if you have other requested features. If you have any thoughts or if you would like to request access to the Campaigns Dashboard, please reach out to our team using the email form below.