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Mike O'Neill and the First Contact team
The Vendor Connection
By Mike O'Neill
I have been attending Campaigns and Elections seminars as an individual and occasionally as a speaker for fifteen years. In 2008 I decided to pack First Contact’s convention booth and join the vendor ally on the mezzanine of the Washington Marriott.
There were some surprising results. There were more attendees than I had expected, more Canadians and more countries represented. Certainly there was a steady stream of interested people coming to our booth. Then, suddenly, the great crowd of animated delegates would stop talking, networking and shopping vendor wares and disappear into the campaign training sessions, not to be seen for another ninety minutes.Read more
Seeing the Forest From the Trees: Modeling Voter Contact Data
By Mike O'Neill
In the early years of doing call centre-based voter contact in Canada, I was often asked by clients, “How am I doing?” It was not always easy to give them an answer! In seeking a solution to this problem we first developed a data model that would later evolve into a micro-targeting program.
Strict spending limits mean few of our campaigns at the district level have access to professional polling based on valid statistical samples of the population. Campaigns might commission a pre-election poll but not district-specific nightly tracking during the election. Although we were conducting voter identification with a large number of observations, up to 100,000 per night, our sample was not truly random, as required by polling. Our challenge was to create a model from the most granular data and project or make an inference about the whole electorate and ultimately, to predict whether our clients would win or lose their elections.Read more