Candidates make final push before election

Volunteers use micro targeting to get undecided voters


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday is the final night for the candidates in Jacksonville's mayoral and sheriff's races to make their final pitches to the voting public before Tuesday's general election.

As the campaigns spend the day trying to get all the votes they can, News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said something called micro-targeting is the most important thing they can do.

If someone stands on the street and waves a campaign sign, it might get someone out to vote for a candidate and it might not. But what Carroll said is they want to focus on the voters they know they can rely on and the supervisor of elections office tracks that.

Both campaigns have dozens of volunteers working the phones using phone sheets, which is a list of voters and their habits. 

Carroll said these phone calls are the most important things candidates can do, much more important than all the sign waving going Tuesday.

"It has to be narrowed down. You can't go after individuals that have typically not voted or haven't voted in the past few elections, because you're wasting time. So you try and go after those voters that you have an assurance they will go out and vote," Carroll explained.

Carroll said that process is called micro-targeting and while it's not visible like sign waving, it's the most effective thing a candidate can do. That's exactly what's been happening at both campaign headquarters.


In fact, at Lenny Curry's campaign headquarters, the Republican candidate was making calls alongside volunteers with a specific sheet of undecided voters, asking people for their vote.

"I've got a list, a call list, of undecided voters I've been working on all day. I've been talking to them about their issues, listening to them and asking for their vote," Curry said.

Carroll says the campaigns have been working to get access to those voters knowing they're the most likely avenue for votes when you only have hours left instead of days. 

"Everyone's voting record is a part of public record, so the candidates will go into the supervisor of elections voting record and see who hasn't voted, who hasn't returned absentee ballots and who hasn't voted early. So you micro-target those individuals who haven't showed up to vote at all," Carroll said.

Carroll said the sign waving that you'll likely see on your way to work is more designed to get campaign workers and volunteers excited about Election Day.


Volunteers like Gary St. Arnauld, who works for Mayor Alvin Brown's campaign, is already getting excited.

"He's had very enthusiastic support all through the campaign. I started in March and it's been like this pretty much every day," St. Arnauld said.

Whether waving signs or making phone calls supporters on all sides of the campaign are busy setting up and preparing for a very long election day. Volunteers expect to work 12-13 hours on Tuesday until polls close at 7 p.m..

About the Author: