NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "There are no longer any experts except Cambridge Analytica. They were Trump's digital team who figured out how to win." Frank Luntz
No one saw it coming. The public polls, the experts, and the pundits: just about everybody got it wrong. They were wrong-footed because they didn't understand who was going to turn out and vote last Tuesday.
Except for Cambridge Analytica, the data company at the heart of the Trump campaign, working in collaboration with the RNC and Brad Parscale.
The firm knew that Mr. Trump had a very solid shot at winning, because it saw trends that no else did, and it knew how to interpret them correctly.
"The trends that we saw, a lot of people didn't want to believe it," says Matt Oczkowski, who headed the Data Science team. "The outcome was very difficult to predict, and we didn't get every state right, but we saw the trends that meant we were quietly confident."
The team's internal data saw what was going to happen in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, because it understood who was going to vote on Election Day.
Uniquely, Cambridge Analytica understood how Trump supporters were different from traditional Republican voters such as those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. It knew who those Trump supporters were and the issues they cared about.
Ahead of the election, Cambridge Analytica's internal data showed the race tightening because its data scientists had seen previously hidden trends in voter sampling, and new trends in absentee ballots and early voting, particularly in rural areas. "This led us to predict a significant lift for Mr. Trump in the industrial Midwest," says Lead Data Scientist Dr. David Wilkinson.
Among the trends: an increase in the rural vote, a drop in African-American turnout, and a one to three point boost from voters who had hitherto not declared themselves for Trump: the so-called "hidden" vote.
"Their analysis was based not on punditry or the art of politics, but on data science and a rigorously scientific approach to research and polling," says Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix.
"This is not something that political intuition would tell you," says Oczkowski, "but our models predicted most of these states correctly. What also gave us an advantage over polling companies is how quickly we were able to react by updating models to take into account where the demographic was shifting."
"We are extremely proud of the work that we were able to do in collaboration with the campaign. Data's alive and kicking. It's just how you use it and how you buck normal political trends to understand your data."
Bloomberg: "Trump's Data Team Saw a Different America - and They Were Right"
Wall Street Journal: "The election upset is seen as a coup for Cambridge Analytica"
Mashable: "How a little-known data firm helped Trump become president"
Wired: "Cambridge Analytica stood entirely alone. From Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight model to The New York Times' the Upshot model to the Clinton campaign's own public projections, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would win.
North 6th Agency (for Cambridge Analytica)
About Cambridge Analytica:
Cambridge Analytica, the U.S. affiliate of SCL Group, is the market leader in the provision of data analytics and behavioral communications for political campaigns, issue groups and commercial enterprises. With cutting-edge technology, pioneering data science, and 25 years of experience in behavior change, CA provides advertisers with unparalleled insight into their audiences. More information can be found at: https://cambridgeanalytica.org.
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SOURCE Cambridge Analytica