Political Technology In Local Races
We had our eyes focused on what was going on in Canada all year, where there was a lot of buzz about the elections in Edmonton. Ecanvasser was delighted that so many candidates decided to employ our political technology and that campaign tools weren’t just something that big campaigns with deep pockets used.
The race for a position on the City Council in Ward 5 was one of the more hotly contested elections that took place in October. Sarah Hamilton, one of five women running in a jam-packed race in Ward 5 in Edmonton, may be young but discount her at your peril. In fact, she is a veteran at the tender age of 31 already boasting stints from the 2012 Obama campaign and a role as campaign manager for the Steve Mandel campaign - Mayor of Edmonton back in 2015.
2017 was the year where Sarah stepped out from behind the curtain and with campaign manager Justin Mohr at her side, they set about identifying the core concerns of her constituents. From there she never looked back, winning with a strong majority. We spoke to Hamilton in early November and she was excited about getting started serving her constituents.
It was clear to us that her political campaign strategy followed the model set out by the Democrats in the US; it focused on excellent field organization and data collection, two elements which featured heavily in many political victories we've seen over the last five years. Hamilton started early to make sure she gave her campaign the best chance of engaging the public and locking down votes.
The word micro-targeting was bandied about often during our catch up with Sarah and it was something that resonated with us here at Ecanvasser. Why aren’t people paying more attention to their data that they work so hard to obtain?
Coming from a centrist progressive background, Hamilton and her team grew from 8 to 40 over the course of four months using Ecanvasser. The ease of use for Hamilton’s team meant that they didn’t waste much time educating people on how to use the field app - a breath of fresh air considering her team was very much a mix of ages. Mohr remarked that seasoned campaigners were left dumbstruck about the benefits of the technological element of campaigning exclaiming “what have you guys done to politics?”
The benefits of using data to mobilize voters is that you can constantly tweak messaging and we all know how important messaging is nowadays. Ecanvasser changed the way the Hamilton team viewed data and also viewed their voters. They put in the groundwork and knocked on well over 13,000 doors from a database of nearly 40,000 constituents.
Canvassing frequency increased as polling day approached, something which was aided by knowledge of which people had yet to commit to a vote. When the results were tallied, it was clear to see that hard work had paid off. Hamilton received 6,156 votes while her nearest rival David Xiao received 3,626 in a total field of nine candidates.
In a municipal election, there is no replacement for face-to-face canvassing and it is clear that Hamilton intends to build on the relationships forged during her election campaign.
Need help organizing your political technology like Sarah Hamilton? Why not try Ecanvasser today?