U.S. Vote: Using data to target the voter

An influential weapon in a political campaign that may be won by undecided voters

personality-data

(CNN) – As the US presidential election enters its final leg, every undecided vote counts. One company is helping Donald Trump’s campaign get inside the minds of American voters by mapping out their personalities and how they can be persuaded to vote trump.

Meet Donald Trump’s mind readers. Quietly crunching away 5-thousand pieces of data about every American adult.

They’re trying to get to know you, better than you know yourself. They are psychological profilers. Their aim, to persuade you to vote for Donald Trump with political ads that match your personality

Alexander Nix is the CEO behind the elite brains at Cambridge Analytica. “I think the data is extremely robust and proven to be so time and again.”

So confident in fact, that he’s writing down the name of the next U.S. president. Nix has good reason to feel upbeat. After all their big data goes beyond your voter file or magazine subscription

This is micro targeting with psychological profiling and this is how it works. Using a survey placed on social media, they ask users to take a personality test. The answers group people under personality types.

They then combine it with, your voting history, what you buy, where you shop and what you watch on TV. With that they say they can predict the personality of every single adult in the United States. Though it doesn’t end here.

Alexander Nix, “We can then marry this data with cookies to serve people adverts though social media or digitally, or we can match these data to television viewing data so we can understand where the audiences that we’re interested in, what programs they’re watching and we can then serve them messages during those shows.”

A hyper-targeted message that they say helped Ted Cruz build support in the republican primaries. These two adverts show how the same message is tweaked by Cambridge Analytica to target two very different personalities.

One a relaxed leader, the other a traditionalist. An influential weapon in a political campaign that may be won by undecided voters.

Sasha Issenberg, Author, the Victory Lab said, “All of this data and micro targeting doesn’t turn a bad candidate into a good candidate doesn’t turn voters who are Democrats into Republicans. But if you’re going to spend a billion dollars you want to be really ruthless about making sure that you’re focusing on the right people.”

That’s why this little known company has become a powerful tool in politics. They have worked for the Brexit (leave) campaign here in the UK and now Donald Trump is paying them 5 million dollars in September alone in the hope their profiling will take him all the way to the White House.

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