With the RNC and DNC wrapped up, we now know who the official candidates are for the republican and democratic parties. With no surprises, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a neck-and-neck race to be the next President of the United States.
Even with the candidates officially selected for both parties, there seems to be a lingering candidate who just won’t go away. At both conventions, there was a strong presence of Bernie Sanders followers. Senator Sanders ignited a strong political following based on the shared passion to overthrow Wall Street and the 1%, and concentrate on growing middle class America.
In this election, many voters will be making their decision based on who they think will do the best job, not by which party they are affiliated with. As Ivanka Trump said in her speech at the RNC, “I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat. More than party affiliation, I vote based on what I believe is right, for my family and for my country.” While it’s obvious who she is voting for, that’s not the case for the Bernie Sanders fans.
With the polls showing a head to head race (Trump marginally ahead one week, then Hillary taking the lead back the next), the ‘Bernie Vote’ could sway the vote. When Bernie urged his followers to vote for Hillary at the DNC, you could hear many in the crowd were not pleased with the idea.
Where the ‘Bernie Vote’ Lays
Based on the remaining candidates, Bernie followers can essentially do one of three things. They can vote for Hillary, vote for ‘the Donald’, or not exercise their right to vote. Through affinity data, we wanted to learn which way they are likely to vote.
To understand the landscape, we ran a competitive interest-based segmentation analysis. The Affinio algorithm ingested the audiences of Bernie, Hillary, and Trump, then segmented them based on unbiased, naturally occurring interest-based clusters. To learn more about the methodology, check this out.
Below are the pie charts that represent who is winning in each interest based segment, or, who ‘owns’ what share of that audience.
Based on this, we can see that there is great opportunity for the candidates to gain the ‘Bernie vote’. Bernie leads or has a significant stake in ‘Sports Fans’, ‘Comedy + Entertainment’, ‘Women’, ‘Science’, ‘Hip Hop Culture’, ‘Education’, ‘Teen Girls’, and ‘Entrepreneurs’.
Candidates are able to gain voters by relating to people. To help them reach these potential voters, they need to understand who they are, what they are interested in, where they get their information, and what issues they care about. Let’s take a look at a couple of these communities to understand these people in the context of their interests and affinities.
As you can see, these two communities differ greatly in their interests, trusted media sources, and what they talk about. If the ‘Bernie Vote’ is party-agnostic, they will vote for who they relate to most. These insights produce a ‘short cut’ to reaching these individuals in a way that is relevant and resonates with them.
Will the ‘Bernie Vote’ help decide the election? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.