Just in time for the 2014 midterms, Latino Decisions proudly announces new Latino targeting products and databases designed to help political parties, candidates, campaigns and their consultants identify and target Latino voters.
Produced in conjunction with our strategic partner Labels & Lists, Latino Decisions has created proprietary models that generate turnout, partisan identification and partisan propensity scores for registered Latinos. Combining political, consumer and demographic data, the models help to distinguish between, say, those Latinos with strong turnout scores but low partisan identification or propensity scores (that is: persuasion targets), as opposed to those who strong partisan tendencies but are less likely to turn out to vote (that is: mobilization targets). The turnout and partisan propensity scores are important in all American states, and the partisan identification scores are particularly valuable in states that do not record partisan ID’s in voter registration rolls.
“We are excited about this new product and we believe our models provide the best available estimates of Latino voter behavior in the electoral targeting marketplace,” says Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions. “Latino Decisions drew on the more than 80,000 interviews with registered voters over the last six years to inform this project. Our 2010 and 2012 election eve polls provide the definitive story of Latinos in those two critical elections, and it is the same expertise that we have brought to this micro-targeting model.”
The new joint project between Latino Decisions and Labels & Lists combines relevant questions from LD surveys of the Latino electorate with a comprehensive list of nearly every Latino registered voter in the United States (approximately 15 million). Machine learning techniques are employed to model Latino turnout, vote choice, and party identification. This unique business effort affords the opportunity to model relevant political behavior of the entire universe of Latino voters with unparalleled accuracy. Cultivating relationships and engagement with the Latino electorate is essential to short and long-term political strategic planning. “Our new modeling techniques serve this critical need with expertise and cultural competence unmatched in the industry,” says Latino Decisions co-founder Matt Barreto.
Although national results are important measures of rising Latino voter clout, individual voter estimates are what allow campaign managers and field directors to successfully target Latinos in battleground states and competitive races. Empirical data indicate, however, that Latino voters are contacted far less frequently by political campaigns than either black or white voters. Although cultural and language barriers undoubtedly contribute to these lower contact rates, the lack of reliable information about Latino voters has been an impediment.
Latino Decisions’ new targeting models reduce the informational barriers that have historically deterred campaigns and candidates from successfully identifying, targeting and communicating with Latino voters.
Thomas Schaller is political director at Latino Decisions, a political columnist for the Baltimore Sun, and professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.