Wednesday, November 7

Tracking Election Results

After standing in line, some for hours, Americans (and much of the world) stood glued to some sort of a screen last night watching the election results come in and get analyzed.  As I flipped around the television networks and across various social media channels, I found a few interesting new methods to note here today.

First of all, CNN at many times of the night was using split screen technology during commercial breaks.  Quite smart, actually, so that the network could pull in the advertising revenue yet at the same time keep political junkies connected to the action, never skipping a beat.

ABC's Katie Couric was keeping track of social media activity.  Not sure that she has that kind of  credibility, but it was a good try.  I found it hard to stay on social media through the night though ... the pace was dizzying and the commentary very hard to follow.  Too many personal opinions as opposed to actually tracking results.  But then again, it's social media.

I liked how NBC branded their set "Democracy Plaza" all week long.  Smart.

Even the Empire State Building in NYC got into the action.  The blue and red lights on the tower each grew as the candidates gained states ... a visual barometer of the night's progress.

I have to give a shout out to Gap ... many of their stores were giving instant 20% discounts to anyone wearing a "I Voted" sticker.  Love it.

My overall observation, however, is about the astounding level of mathematical discussion and the elaborate charting on all of the networks.  Analysts were looking at county-level data vs. the last election to try to predict how a state would swing, really trying to understand, voter by voter, the issues driving the turnout.  Pretty incredible.

It's just absolutely fascinating to watch the polling and analysis take place in real time, and then to wake up to further post-game analysis the next morning.

How did you track the results ... what's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU


  1. By 2016, I wouldn't be surprised to see all the networks scrambling to put Nate Silver clones in their spotlight. Every media organization will now want its own state poll-based algorithm statistic nerd, especially given how much traffic Silver drove to the New York Times website.

  2. True ... he was definitely an emerging player from the politics. JIM