chapter  1
20 Pages

Precinct Analysis: The Sinners, the Saints, and the Savables

ByCatherine Shaw

Precinct analysis looks at past voting patterns and the dynamic of party affiliation within the context of neighborhood. For precinct analysis purposes, this chapter focuses on two groups—the sinners and the saints—but it focuses on the third group, the savables. Microtargeting, which determines voter patterns according to lifestyle and consumptive behavior, absolutely works. Knowing the social context of cities within a county is just as important as knowing the social context of neighborhoods within a city. Polling uses individual traits in conjunction with issue questions to target direct mail and media. So-called independent voters are registered voters who are not affiliated with a political party. This chapter examines both issue-based and partisan elections from 2002 to 2006 to determine whether nonaffiliated voters performed predictably in concert with their partisan neighbors. Issue-based campaigns were also charted to determine whether they too tracked predictably, precinct by precinct. Undervotes occur when voters skip a particular candidate or issue on their ballot.