What is DeleteMe’s “What’s My Vote Worth” Tool?
The “What’s My Vote Worth” tool is designed to be a fun and informative look at political ad spend to help voters understand how politicians and special interest groups spend their funds to influence elections.
How Are These Numbers Calculated?
The model takes publicly available information on national and state-level political ad-spend and combines it with factors such as geography, voter history, party affiliation, and demographic data to return an estimate of how much money was spent advertising to a specific person.
Why Does “Worth” Per Vote Vary So Much?
Politicians and advertisers have always wanted to promote different messages to different voters, and to reach some voters more aggressively than others. What’s changed is the technology.
Today, politicians and marketers have highly precise advertising technology to reach narrow audiences of people, and they have better data on voters than ever before.
Additionally, ad spend varies a lot by state, either because voters are in a ‘swing state’ for the national election, or because certain local elections are more competitive.
How Are Political Advertisers Getting My Information?
There are two sources for this information: Public Voter Rolls and Private Data Broker Websites.
Voter rolls are public voter lists provided by the government to political campaigns. They can be accessed by organizations running a political campaign, either for free or for generally small fees.
Data brokers are for-profit companies that collect, enhance, and sell personal citizen information. They are poorly regulated and will sell personal citizen data to anyone willing to pay.
The data broker industry is largely responsible for the growth of highly targeted ads and political “spam” because they take public information about voters and combine it with very personal information (online search history, social media behavior, criminal records, and more) to put voters into very specific groups. They then sell this data to advertisers and, in some cases, scammers.