The nice folks at Broadside Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing, has sent me another advanced copy of a book to review. ′The Selfie Vote′ by Kristen Soltis Anderson goes on sale tomorrow, July 7, 2015. The book′s subtitle says it all – ′Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up). Anderson is a political analyst who writes for The Daily Beast and was named by Time Magazine in their Top 30 Under 30. She began working in politics in 2005 analyzing data from public opinion polls in search of voting trends. This book details her experiences and the results of studying the subject of how and why people vote the way they do. Prepare to enter the universe of micro-marketing, micro-targeting and macro-outreach!
Ah, ′The Future′. Shakespeare′s ′unknown country′. But just how mysterious and unknown is it? If Kristen Soltis Anderson is correct, the future is understandable, though the truth may be difficult, especially for Conservatives. It has been said that while young people tend to be Liberals, they wise up over time and eventually become Conservatives. But the numbers do not play out that way. Most people tend to vote the same way for the same political party all of their lives.
The new game in town is to build a solid data base of the voting public. Not just how individuals have voted in the past, but detailing every aspect that the modern, marketing guru wants to know. Building a unique profile for each and every voter and then adapting your messaging to each on an individual basis. No factoid is too small to overlook! Cat owners tend to vote Democrat, dog owners more so for Republicans. There are ′tells′ for everything encompassing all aspects of one′s life. Success at the ballot box is becoming more dependent on grasping the analytics rather than just shaking hands or kissing babies. Old school politics is rapidly being replaced thanks to technology.
The new art of micro-targeting takes marketing to a whole, new level. The same candidate now sends tailored form letters to each voter, based on what their data base tells them about the voter. Your neighbors and you may all vote for the same party, the same candidate, but each for different reasons. Micro-targeting, or if you prefer, micro-marketing, enables you to approach each voter on the issues that compel her or him to act upon. The Democrats have had an advantage in this, as they have been dividing voting blocks for decades. Can Republicans develop a workable strategy to do the same? Should they may be the more important question?
In the case of the youth vote, or the Millennials, there may be an opportunity for the GOP to crack the door and gain a foothold. In her new book, ′The Selfie Vote′, author Kristen Soltis Anderson explores and explains how this might be achieved. Published by Broadside Books of the Harper Collins line, this may be the most important book to read if you intend on running for office in the near future. My guess is that 10 or 15 years from now, when technology has advanced so much that the marvels of today have been retired with the buggy whips, our politics will also have changed. For myself, I admit I am ′Old School′. Having been in marketing and sales, I understand the role of technology and adapting to utilize it. But for me, the game of politics is one of messaging and the ability to voice your ideas. Ronald Reagan wasn′t called ′The Great Communicator′ for nothing! He could voice the complex ideas of Ludwig von Mises and Frederick Hayek to the ′regular folk′ in a clear, understandable way. History will soon tell us which is more important, the message or the method?