VoterLabs in the News


Race Not Out of Reach for Trump with Supporters and Undecideds Unhappy with Nation’s Direction

8/8/2016 | MOBOPINIONS / VoterLabs

New Haven, Conn.: August 8, 2016 – A post-convention follow up survey of millennials, conducted through over 100 mobile apps by MobOpinions/VoterLabs, shows the recent political conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties had little effect on those born between 1981 and 1998.

While Hillary Clinton continues to lead among likely voting millennials 37% to 29%, with 21% still saying they are undecided. The numbers translate to a statistically insignificant 2 point net bounce over Donald Trump when compared to pre-convention survey numbers.

An Opening for Trump

When asked ‘if America’s best days are behind it or ahead of it’, respondents were closely split, with 38% seeing America’s best days ahead, 33% behind and 29% saying they are unsure.

However, likely undecided voters aren’t so sure about the future of the country – 38% of these voters believe America may never live up to it’s past, a margin of 12 points over the 26% who see the future as bright.

The only other voter segments who hold a similar negative view of the future were Trump supporters and white voters. Of supporters of Donald Trump, only 27% see the future as bright. A whopping 49% of Trump supporters and a full 46% of white voters think America’s best days have passed.

“Trump seems to tapping into people who have given up on the American dream and future of America. It suggests a certain gloominess that might explain why they would be comfortable with a political outsider, with little relevant experience, to shake up a system they feel is broken,” said pollster Mitchell Barak of MOBOPINIONS.

Though when forced to choose between only the Democratic and Republican candidates, Mrs. Clinton beats Mr. Trump 60% to 40%, previously undecideds unsure of the future flock to Trump by an 8 point margin.

If Mr. Trump can win those undecideds who share his supporter’s view of the future, he can bring the race to a dead heat among likely voting millennials.

“At this point in the campaign, Clinton has a clear advantage with 18-35 year olds, but Donald Trump can make great gains if he can connect with disaffected millennials and get them out to the polls.”, said Walter Kawecki of VoterLabs.

The survey results suggest that focusing on their respective experience and vision for the nation may be the best way for candidates to sway millennial voters, with over 80% millennial voters preferring this approach to attacks on their opponents.

The survey was conducted on iOS and Android devices in-app, within 101 different mobile applications, leveraging MOBOPINIONS network of respondents and proprietary technology.

The representative sample consisted of 601 millennials from across the United States with a 3.5% margin of error. In order to measure to true effect of the conventions, the survey ran the week following the close of Republican and Democratic National Conventions to allow for post-convention bounce equalization.

VoterLabs’ Mobile Identity Sync and voter scoring methodology, powered by VoterLabs’ patented technology, were used to identify likely voters among survey respondents.

Ambivalence toward Clinton could throw election to Trump; Poll Suggests BREXIT Parallels

7/26/2016 | MOBOPINIONS / VoterLabs

New Haven, Conn.,: July 26, 2016 – A new MobOpinions/VoterLabs national mobile in-app poll finds millennials will play a pivotal role in the 2016 Presidential election.

The national survey of those born between 1981 and 1998 show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump with millennials by 34% to 25%, and among likely voting millennials 38% to 28%.

While both candidates showed very high unfavorability, Mrs. Clinton’s favorability spread of -12.5% to Mr. Trump’s -41.3%, the Clinton/Trump favorability and unfavorability spreads of +13.28% and -15.5% respectively, both favoring Mrs. Clinton, suggest millennials are Clinton’s to lose.

However, with 23% likely millennial voters still undecided, ambivalence toward Mrs. Clinton could pave the way for a Trump victory if this group decides to stay home or turn to a 3rd party candidate.

“While these numbers are fascinating, we see clear parallels to the BREXIT vote,” said Mitchell Barak, a well known pollster who has polled in 160 countries, and is a co-founder of MobOpinions. “When we polled millennials in the UK ahead of the BREXIT vote, the results indicated that, if millennials had turned out, REMAIN would have won. This survey shows a similar pattern – unless Hillary Clinton can persuade and turnout millennials, Mr. Trump stands a very good chance of being the next U.S. President.”

Of likely voting millennials, 23% do not identify with a major party. Of those that do, 20% of self-identified Democrats see themselves as conservative, and 20% of those calling themselves Republicans consider themselves liberal, suggesting this group does not fit neatly into the traditional party narratives of presidential contests.

With Mrs. Clinton’s unique circumstance of having a former President as her spouse, and Donald Trump emphasizing daughter Ivanka’s “good looks and smarts”, family surrogates are being used to connect with important demographics – white working class voters for Mr. Clinton, and for Ms. Trump, millennials and women.

Interestingly, though 21% of Trump supporters said Bill Clinton should play a very active role if Hillary Clinton is elected, while only 14% of them said Ivanka Trump should be very active if Mr. Trump is elected.

“Bill Clinton can be instrumental in bringing undecided and “soft” Trump millennial supporters to vote for his wife Hillary.” commented Mitchell Barak.

“Millennials will play a pivotal role in this election.” said Walter Kawecki, a partner at political data and analytics firm VoterLabs. “Persuasion and turnout will all come down to delivering the right message through the right medium – in this case, the right social media channel for the segment being targeted”

When asked to pick just one social media app to have from a list of the most popular smartphone apps, 35% of likely voting millennials chose Facebook, followed by Instagram with 18% and Snapchat at 17%.

When segmented by age group though, Instagram and Snapchat led the way, with Instagram the choice of 26% of 18-20 year olds, followed by Instagram with 22% and Facebook with 18%.

Broken down further by gender, among likely female voters, Snapchat wins 18-20 year olds with 37%, and shares top honors with Facebook in the 21-24 range, each with 32%.

And for all the attention on Mr. Trump’s Twitter following, the numbers shows he’ll have a tough time reaching millennials there, the microblogging service coming in 4th with millennials.

“Clearly Facebook is still dominant, but effective use of Snapchat and Instagram could be pivotal.” added Kawecki. “If so, the Trump campaign could have a secret weapon in Ivanka Trump.”

The survey was conducted on iOS and Android devices in-app within 117 different mobile applications, leveraging MOBOPINIONS network of respondents and proprietary technology. The sample consisted of 941 millennials from across the United States with a 2.68% margin of error, and was conducted just prior to the two weeks of Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

VoterLabs’ identity matching data engine and voter scoring methodology, powered by VoterLabs’ patented technology, were used to identify those most likely to vote among the survey respondents.

An additional survey will be conducted at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention to compare the effects of the conventions.

POLI-TECH FIRMS PURSUE PATENT PROTECTION DESPITE HURDLES

4/4/2016 | Sean Miller | Campaigns & Elections

"For Walter Kawecki, co-Founder and CEO VoterLabs, the decision to patent the company’s text-to-donate platform was meant to protect the investment of time and money he and his partners put into their four-year-old polit-tech startup. ‘When I found out patent protection might be available that made a difference with us pursuing this as hard as we did. Some company like Google can’t just swoop in,’ Kawecki said. ‘It allowed me to feel confident throwing all of our resources into this company.’

Kawecki filed the company’s patent application in November 2013. It was granted two years later for a text-to-donate system that ‘identifies people contributing or opting-in and delivers complex data sets including demographic, financial, household and voter file data on each individual for microtargeting, modeling and analysis,’ according to a release.

‘I don’t think that the people who are patent shy understand the patent system very well,’ said Kawecki. ‘Or they don’t like it because of the protection it might offer other people.’

Part of what’s deterred other entrepreneurial consultants from patenting their systems is the cost and effort that goes into the process, which isn’t guaranteed to be successful.

‘It depends on what you have. If you have sophisticated proprietary algorithms, you might want to do that,’ said Justin Gargiulo, CEO and founder of VoterTrove, a Republican data-services company. ‘But you can invest a ton of money and go down a long road, and have nothing to show for it. In most cases, I don’t believe it’s really necessary.’

Gargiulo opted not to file patent applications on his firm’s technology. But Kendall Tucker, co-founder and CEO of Polis, a poli-tech startup that makes an organizing and canvassing app, filed a provisional patent after the firm launched.

Meanwhile, Bryan Fratkin, who launched Whistle Stop Digital last year, said his firm copyrighted all screens and code within its application. But it held back from filing a patent application because of concern about the Alice ruling.

‘With the current state of things, in submitting the patent app we'd be giving away the ‘secret sauce,’’ he wrote in an email. ‘Whether awarded the patent or not, that information would be in the public record, accessible to our competitors and others.’

Meanwhile, Audience Partners, which fired what many considered the first shot in the industry’s IP war, has continued its patenting effort. It was granted a second patent in 2015 and has a number of applications pending, according to Jordan Lieberman, president of the CampaignGrid division of Audience Partners.

That worries Gargiulo, in part, because Audience Partners’ strategy could be a model for other firms. ‘That’s not good for the industry,’ he said, noting the belief among Silicon Valley-types that patents stifle innovation.

But as the industry becomes more data driven and moves beyond old-school technology like phones, mail, and TV, patents are likely to become more sought-after — regardless of the regulatory environment, according to Pandya, who counsels tech companies. ‘It’s a costly process and it’s time consuming. But as we go to more data applications, that is technology that can be patented and protected.’

Moreover, patenting could be a way for a firm to expand its reach beyond the campaign industry. In fact, Kawecki said that’s what he has planned for his company.

‘This isn’t about political campaigns per se,’ he said. ‘This is about technology and innovation.’ "


Political tech and data startup VoterLabs announces patent for text-to-donate technology

As 2016 election cycle heats up, key mobile payments innovation allows campaigns to ID voters via text-to-donate


NEW HAVEN, Conn: April 4, 2016 — Data and tech company VoterLabs, Inc. today announced U.S. Patent No. 9,177,067, which covers the identification of mobile payment consumers and text-to-donate contributors, and offering customers integrated personal and household data as well as analytics garnered from mobile payments.

VoterLabs’ Text-to-Donate platform, which employs the patented technology, empowers campaigns and organizations to realize the full potential of SMS and mobile payments. The system identifies people contributing or opting-in and delivers complex data sets including demographic, financial, household and voter file data on each individual for microtargeting, modeling and analysis. Campaigns can now ID actual voters using SMS and mobile donations. The patent also covers proprietary data validation processes.

“Our Text-To-Donate technology really takes mobile to a whole new level by allowing you to ID actual voters using SMS and mobile donations – that’s huge step forward.” said VoterLabs co-founder, Walter Kawecki. ”With more consumers connecting exclusively through mobile and social, this technology eliminates anonymity. Campaigns will get the fullest possible picture of who’s engaging with their brand while obtaining data that is vital for field and GOTV operations. The applications are almost limitless.”

“Mobile and digital strategies can’t just be about clicks, cookies or views.” Kawecki said. “We’re spending much more of our lives digitally, on multiple platforms, but campaigns still need to convince real people to take action and vote. This innovation helps bridge that gap,” he said.

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VoterLabs, Inc. was founded in 2012, and services political and not-for-profit organizations, as well as business and enterprise customers. Customers have included political organizations at all levels, including the 2016 presidential. Current products and services include VoterLabs Text-to-Donate with Mobile ID Sync, TargetMatch self-service data enrichment, and data modeling, analysis and microtargeting.


Rand Paul Will Hate the NSA Until You Love Him

5/21/2015 | Olivia Nuzzi | The Daily Beast

"On Twitter, Paul has shared messages from those who support #StandWithRand. Many of them are cat people, apparently.

Paul asked those who want to “Join Us” to “Text: ‘FILIBUSTER’ to 97063.” After doing so, I received a message that read, “Rand2016-Thanks for your support! Click to continue: t2d.cc/d0e2 STOP to quit HELP for info Msg&DataRatesMayApply” The link brought me to voterlabs.com, which asked for my first name and last name, and then, hilariously, all of my personal information: street address, city, state, ZIP code, email address (optional).

Back inside the Capitol, Paul leaned hard on the desk in front of him. It was going to be a long night."


VoterLabs Launches Mobile Donation Platform

7/15/2014 | Byron Tau | Politico

"Political tech startup VoterLabs announced the launch of a new mobile fundraising platform on Monday, the first to offer real-time identity, demographic and consumer data for campaigns about donors who contribute money via text message.

The FEC first allowed donations via text message in 2012, and both major presidential campaigns deployed it to some extent in that cycle. Donors see the contribution appear on their phone bill. VoterLabs said that campaigns will be able to leverage text donations like social media and capture valuable information about a voter in the process.

‘Text-2-Donate will give new meaning to winning the news cycle,’ said firm founder Walter Kawecki. ‘Just imagine Todd Akin vs. Claire McCaskill with text-to-donate tools ready to go. Instead of ‘likes’ or ‘shares,’ we’re talking about potentially millions of dollars and real voter data.’"


VoterLabs Launches Political Text-2-Donate Platform With Real-Time Data

7/15/2014 | virtual-strategy.com

"VoterLabs, LLC, a New Haven, CT startup, today announced the launch of its political Text-2-Donate and Mobile Outreach platform.

VoterLabs' Text-2-Donate & Mobile Outreach platform combines mobile engagement (SMS) and text-2-donate fundraising tools with VoterLabs' TargetMatch technology – capturing and enhancing communications with respondent identity, consumer, demographic, and election data, all in real-time.

With VoterLabs' Text-2-Donate, campaigns can more effectively capture the moment, turning the impulse of viral sharing into viral fundraising and real voter IDs.

Mobile marketing can also help campaigns change the electoral math, helping to turn political bystanders and casual voters into involved supporters, connecting with voters where they are. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 79% of cell phone users use text messaging."




Copyright © 2012-2016 VoterLabs, Inc. All rights reserved.
VoterLabs, Mirrored Populations, Mobile ID Sync, and TargetMatch are trademarks of VoterLabs, Inc.
U.S. Patent No. 9,177,067 and U.S. and International Patents Pending