India: Congress goes on digital drive for micro-targeting ahead of 2019 polls

  • Congress has initiated an all-India exercise to identify every party worker, swing booths and its dedicated voters. The digitisation project would use publicly available data to get a profile of its core votebase, which would then be used to conduct flash surveys on political issues and even tailor-make communication for 2019 parliamentary elections.
  • Taking a leaf from micro-voter targeting in United States, the Congress has initiated a digitisation exercise for a better-managed 2019 election.
  • The first step would be identify worker down to the booth level and then connect them on a common platform, Shakti (power). Digitising its workers’ records would be the first step which would be followed by digitising the booth-level data of past five elections to gauge where Congress is strong and which are swing booths that the party needs to concentrate on.
  • A beginning has been made in the national capital Delhi and poll-bound Rajasthan. The project is being spearheaded by the newly formed data analytics department with the help of independent consultants.
  • After the two states, Congress would expand it to Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to further crystallise its campaign. This would be done by digitising electoral roll data and juxtaposing it with other public data.
  • After complete digitisation, the party would want to move towards micro voter targeting, as employed in the Trump vs Clinton US presidential election. The enriched data in Congress records would have data points which would help the party in working out profiles of voters.
  • These would then be used to tailor-make party communication. So while a college going student would get party’s promises to the youth or Congress’ “growing intolerance in universities” campaign, the student’s mother in the same family would get messages about inflation and women’s safety.

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