Let’s talk about the ways in which technology is playing a more and more important role in politics. From Trump’s infamous twitter account to the hordes of platforms that politicians are using to target potential voters, politics is changing with technology. It’s not really a good or bad thing, it’s more of a necessity. Politicians need to keep up or they are going to get left behind. A great example of this is the Democrats consistent use of NGP VAN.
NGP VAN played a major role in Obama’s election and re-election campaign efforts. The digital platform that is used for campaigning efforts has seen major changes since the days of Obama, but it’s presence was still massive during the Obama election. For Democrats, the use of NGP VAN started as a necessity to combat Mitt Romney’s use of ORCA (a platform that would eventually fail on election day, unfortunately). NGP VAN may have started off as a necessity, but it quickly became the Democrats most powerful tool for campaigning in the digital age.
— NGP VAN (@NGPVAN) May 23, 2018
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It’s all too important to utilize digital tools correctly and frequently if you are running a campaign platform, NGP VAN has the tools to accomplish this if you are a Democrat of course. Hustle, a startup out of San Fransisco, was recently acquired by NGP. Hustle is a peer-to-peer platform that played a role in Obama’s campaign and is now part of a set of tools that NGP offers its candidates. That wasn’t the only startup that NGP swallowed, others followed. Startups like SpeakEasy Political were absorbed by the platform. SpeakEasy’s integration with NGP saw that NGP could use targeted demographics drawn from its massive voter data pool to perform direct-to-mail efforts that were less wasteful and more targeted.
Overall, NGP VAN serves as an example of how to properly integrate digital media into campaign efforts. We all expect to see it used prolifically in the upcoming congress re-elections and it should serve to bolster the Democrats position in the election. The Republicans need to come up with a response soon, one that is far better equipped than ORCA if they want to stand a chance on the digital front.