Has technology changed how campaigns talk to voters? Sure. Campaigns used to spend millions on TV and radio, but with new Big Data, and studies showing that personal contact is much more effective in campaigning, many more campaigns are returning to traditional “door-knocks” to contact voters.
One of the most effective “ground games” in recent elections was Rob Portman’s Senate re-election campaign last year. Originally viewed as a tight race, on election night, 2016, Portman ran away with 58% of the vote, in traditionally swing-state Ohio.
His campaign manager, Corey Bliss told the Los Angeles Times that he would run the same kind of ground game: “go into a competitive district early, identify the swing voters, find out what they care about and then talk about those topics consistently in ads and online.” The difference is that now Bliss will do it independent of the campaigns his PAC will support; Bliss now heads up the Congressional Leadership Fund, an independent PAC already mobilizing for 2018.
Why? Because Bliss expects a good ground game to “sway the outcome by as much as five percentage points.”
“This model really works. It requires a lot of time, a lot of effort and lot of money, but I think it’s a worthwhile investment.”