Austin Startup Voter Trove Brings Big Data Analytics to the GOP

Justin Gargiulo wants to bring Republican political campaigns into the 21st century.

The young political consultant was at an industry conference three years ago when he noticed that the panelists discussing campaign technology were either Democratic or non-partisan. “I thought, I’m a Republican. We should have this,” he says. “And I saw a market opportunity, too.”

The result is Voter Trove, an Austin software and data management startup specifically for conservative campaigns. The platform compiles voter information and public data from voter registrations and combines it with data culled from social media, membership directories, and petition signatures in order to create a detailed portrait of voters. Voter Trove has tools that help campaign strategists reach out to those voters in the most useful way possible, Gargiulo says, whether through robocalls, e-mails, or other means.

“They provide campaigns one-stop shopping,” says Josh Eboch, political director for Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s re-election campaign. “Now we can take these data sets and carve them up into interesting ways that I haven’t seen on other systems. We can do this down to the house delegate level, down to county precincts.”

What Voter Trove does is give Republican campaigns the same analytical tools that Somerville, MA-based firm NGP VAN (two firms, NGP Software and Voter Activation Network, merged in 2010) has brought to Democratic campaigns. NGP VAN has worked with clients such as the Democratic National Committee, the Liberal Party of Canada, and the AFL-CIO.

Gargiulo says Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012 proved to be the wake-up call conservatives needed to follow suit.

While other Republican consultancies provide pieces of what Voter Trove provides, the startup brings both data gathering and outreach tools under one roof, Eboch says. “We can match our e-mail file up to the voter file in quick, simple way,” he says. “We can take people we may have found online through call-to-action and match them to voter records. This gives us a better understanding of how they voted and who they are.”

“Then we can go straight from the dashboard and set up auto polls or auto dials with prerecorded messages,” Eboch adds.

Since its founding, Voter Trove is being used or has been used in Republican campaigns in 18 states across the country, … Next Page »

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