Post-Electoral Evaluation: Quantitative

The post-election evaluation begins to harvest all the wins you’ve made for your organization by working on the election. Even if you lost the initiative or didn’t hit your target for voter turnout, you can win in the follow-through.

The scope and level of detail of the evaluation may depend upon whether you’re working with core staff or all interested comers, but the key measures remains the same.  

First, develop a clear, numerical picture of the work you’ve done. Some of these require working with the voter file. Questions that you might address include:

This information enables you to see whether you carried out your plan. It sets a benchmark for future campaigns. Spend some time with the data: look for patterns, figure out the most effective methods of contact, find ways you could have saved time or money. SouthWest Organizing Project looks at whether people they’ve contacted in a primary vote in the general election and compares this to past election cycles “to see what type of impact our intervention made,” Robby Rodriguez says. If you have the capabilities, use GIS mapping to create a visual representation of your impact, a technique that Robby has nothing but praise for in the video.

Once you’ve gone through two or more election cycles, you can evaluate your progress on a broader scale, as many organizations, including SCOPE, do. With the help of several years’ worth of data, organizers can measure their impact among certain age groups or among voters who were newly registered when they began, and adjust their program accordingly, as Anthony Thigpenn explains in the video.

Second, compare your results with your campaign plan.

Did you achieve the numerical goals you set yourself? Were those goals the right goals? (If you won, usually “yes.” If you lost, maybe not.) If you didn't achieve your goals, why not? In as much as the answers to these questions are narratives of your work, they segway into the qualitative part of post-electoral evaluation.

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Anthony Thigpenn describes SCOPE's evaluation of their impact over several election cycles. Anthony Thigpenn: evaluating progress over several cycles