Flashback to the 2016 Presidential election aftermath.
The new kind of messages that appeared in my inbox sought to connect tech talents with the progressive campaigns of tomorrow's elections. Initiatives such as Tech for Campaigns (header GIF) worked to encourage and help Silicon Valley's tech and digital talents lend their skills to build and manage the technological backbone of progressive candidate campaigns.
Did this movement and, more generally, tech make a difference in the outcomes of the midterm elections?
I asked Sayu Bhojwani, whose new book tells the story of progressive candidates.
It certainly was all hands on deck, she said. But it is not clear whether tech was more than a fly by night thing. Although what worked very well in canvassing this year was the ability to engage voters through texting. Bhojwani said she had not seen such ability to contact voters at this scale.
The success of engaging voters via texting depends on demographics, said a volunteer from the midterm campaigns. It depends on your voters having a cellphone and using text. This is the case in Maryland, but less so in states like Florida, for example, where the population is older (note that analysts say older voters have a higher turnout at the polls).
If you are interested in data, tech and politics, join the Data Journalism DC Meetup. If you want to write or research on this topic, contact us!