Firms calculate voter scores by imitating consumer scores and student retention scores, according to the New York Times. Consumer scores are hidden scores that companies have of their customers “based on factors like their demographic profile, socioeconomic status, online activities and offline interests.” These scores help the company determine how much each customer will spend at their store. Colleges use student retention to gauge the chances that a student will drop out.
The NYT explained that voter scores work similarly. These scores “predict the likelihood that an individual agrees or disagrees with a particular party or political stance. Voter scores also “predict a person’s likelihood of voting.”
These scores help advertising firms target particular people on various social media and streaming platforms and target voters for in-person visits and phone calls.
Voter scores require an immense amount of personal data, as shown in the formulation of the ‘Covid decree violation’ scores. To formulate the score, advertising companies analyzed Republicans’ cell phone locations. They then gauged the amount of travel they engaged in during the pandemic.
Republicans who regularly left home received high ‘Covid decree violation’ scores, while those who mostly stayed home got lower scores, per a report by PredictWise.
The firm reported that it helped Democrats target more than 350,00 ‘covid concerned’ Republicans using this score. Specifically, the firm gave 40,000 “persuasion targets” to US Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
The political firm TargetSmart developed a ‘Trump resistance’ score that ranks voters from 0-100 on their likelihood to resist President Trump.
Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, informed the NYT that his firm used public and purchased data to form the scores.
NYT reported that data is also available on almost every political stance. This includes social issues likely to get one cancelled.