Doug Jones’ upset in Alabama took a lot of people by surprise. Granted, his opponent Roy Moore was facing an almost unprecedented image problem, and Jones was riding an early blue wave of Democratic enthusiasm. But when all precincts had reported in and the votes were tallied, there was still an almost surreal, collective pause across the country. Doug Jones had won 50% of the vote compared to Roy Moore’s 48%. But, maybe — just maybe — we can isolate one small factor that helped Jones’ campaign: VoterCircle.
VoterCircle bills itself as a friend-to-friend outreach platform. The premise is simple: campaign staff and volunteers upload their contacts and send personalized messages through the software. Out of the gate, this gives VoterCircle two immense advantages over traditional canvassing:
- Volunteers can participate from the comfort of their home. As any campaign organizer knows, motivating enough people to wake up on the weekend and knock on doors is a difficult thing to do, particularly in rural areas. VoterCircle eliminates this problem by reducing the required effort. Volunteers can help simply by clicking a button.
- Connections are personal with VoterCircle. While it’s easy to throw out flier slipped under your door, and little less easy to close the door on a random stranger, it’s hard to ignore a message sent by a friend or acquaintance. By leveraging these personal contacts, VoterCircle can drastically improve turn out.
But VoterCircle can do more than just engage volunteers and voters. Underlying the platform is a robust data analytics system that can identify “super influencers”, or certain voters who have a larger social circle and can rally more people to their cause. Even better, VoterCircle gives you the ability to select only voters in a given district or neighborhood, allowing you to tailor your message to your audience.
With all these tools rolled into one convenient package, it’s no surprise that VoterCircle delivers real results; in some cases, VoterCircle has let candidates capture the unlikely voters demographic by 10–30 pts over their opponents. And while there are a number of factors that went into Doug Jones’ miraculous upset, VoterCircle was definitely a small but important one.