By Darryl R. Isherwood | July 10th, 2013 - 2:56pm
| More

A key member of the Democrats' 2011 legislative redistricting team is back in the state this election season to defend the map he helped build.

Tom Bonier, who was a primary consultant to the team that created the map ultimately chosen by the tie-breaking member of the commission is consulting with legislative Democrats on micro-targeting, the analytic strategy employed so successfully last year by President Obama.

As a consultant to the Democratic election team, Bonier is providing analytics in every district in the state to help Democratic candidates hone their messages and retain the advantages they hold in both houses.

"Analytics are all about being able to have targeted conversations with voters and being able to talk to voters about issues that they are most likely concerned with in order to focus those conversations," said Bonier, who is from Massachusetts and now is based in Washington, D.C. "Races encompass a multitude of issues and you can't have a conversation with every voter about every issue so this helps narrow the conversation."

Obama used analytics and modeling to great effect in his 2012 re-election bid and the "data cave" as it was known has taken on almost a mythical status in the election post mortem.  The process works by contacting voters individually and creating models based on their support for candidates and issues.

The model can help predict the "persuadeability" of a given voter to identify voters who can be swayed to lean Democrat or flip their vote.

Bonier stresses that good modeling will not win an election, but will boost a campaign at the fringes.

"This isn't a tool that wins elections by itself," he said.  "Elections are won with superior messaging and superior field work."

Still, Democratic campaign consultant Mike Muller said Democrats have been doing modeling for the past two election cycles but the addition of Bonier, who was part of that Obama effort, has brought it to a new level.

"I am confident in saying that this is the most significant modeling effort at the legislative level anywhere in the country," Muller said.

Muller said the information is invaluable, particularly in competitive and swing districts where unaffiliated voters and ticket splitters can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

"It allows us to narrowcast the electorate so we know who is truly in play," he said. "It's important to understand even if they are not traditional party voters, which way do they lean -   or who is movable to ticket split."

Bonier's work will likely be used nationwide this November as a result of a 50-state project conducted earlier this year in which the firm broke voters down into more than a dozen characteristics, gauging views on everything from climate change to guns and determining  whether they could be counted on to come to the polls in an off year.

As for his role on the victorious redistricting team that solidified a map that favors Democrats for the next decade, Bonier said he sees his new role in New Jersey politics as an extension of the old.

"Winning the map does not determine the outcome of the election," he said.  "We created a map that is representative of the electorate.  Now we have to do our job and make our case."

There seems to be no similar coordinated data campaign on the GOP side, at least at the state level, though Politico reported earlier this week that the Republican National Committee will be rolling out a data interface this fall.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

Poll

Who's right on the bail reform special session?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources