I have always been baffled at how many elections and issues are decided by such a tiny margin. Is ther some sort of math,atical pathway to a 50/50 stasis in sorting. It must include outside pressures and manipulation directed by the parties, Can anyone explain the science behind this phenomenon?
The company claimed to use “data enhancement and audience segmentation techniques” providing “psychographic analysis” for a “deeper knowledge of the target audience”. The company uses the Big Five model of personality  Using what it calls “behavioral microtargeting” the company indicates that it can predict “needs” of subjects and how these needs may change over time.
CA derived much of its personality data on online surveys which it conducts on an ongoing basis. For each political client, the firm would narrow voter segments from 32 different personality styles it attributes to every adult in the United States. The personality data would inform the tone of the language used in ad messages or voter contact scripts, while additional data is used to determine voters’ stances on particular issues.
In 2016, the company said that it had not used psychographics in the Trump presidential campaign. Cambridge Analytica targeted potential voters with bespoke messages. Cambridge Analytica’s data head, Alexander Tayler said, “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3m votes but won the electoral college vote, [t]hat’s down to the data and the research.”
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goal of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political and social discord in the United States.
According to the special counsel investigation’s Mueller Report (officially named “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election”), the first method of Russian interference used the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked troll farm, to wage “a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton”. The Internet Research Agency also sought to “provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States”.
It helps if you fight dirty.
I think one major facet is that the two dominant parties have contrived to shut everyone else out. Many citizens including myself don’t identify with either but often feel trapped in a game of lesser evils. I suspect there is even a certain degree of manipulation to make sure that party influence doesn’t sprawl. I think this is inferred from the activity of certain donors though I can’t prove it. If people simply had unfettered access to political parties truly of their choosing and the results were this symmetrical that would definitely be remarkable.
We’re a first past the post, winner take all, geographic representation system. There is no prize for coming in second, third, or fourth. If you can’t compete for first place, then you aren’t actually competing.
The parties aren’t actually that strong right now. Look at what is happening in the Republican party. Politicians in office are kowtowing to the demands of voters. With the exception of Trump, none of the office-holders is really shaping anything (and politicians not in office can’t even get interviewed for anything). Trump convinced the voters the election was stolen, and now those who have presidential ambition think they have to appeal to those voters in order to be relevant in 2024.
In 2010, the same thing happened with the Tea Party. Now, it wasn’t really a political party, but as a movement it gained some momentum. Sure, it was definitely a conservative movement, which made it a natural ally to the Republican party, but it didn’t spin off into it’s own thing. Republicans brought Tea Party people into the fold and the party shifted to absorb the constituency. If the Tea Party had split and ran against Republicans in the general election, either they’d have split the vote, or been irrelevant. In a 60/40 Rep/Dem district, you either need most the Democrats plus a bunch of Republican voters, or you need almost all of the Republican voters. Anything less and you’re just an also-ran on the wikipedia page.
On the other side of the aisle you can see the same shift in embracing LGBT rights by democrats. As the majority of voters shifted their opinion on the issue, the democrats followed suit. They didn’t lead the way on the issue. In fact, it’s pretty apparent that most politicians were scared to lead on the issue. Lots of stories about how they were privately for it all along, but no acts of courage or leadership.
In addition, there’s no room for single-issue candidates or parties. And this goes to the parties as well. If a single issue is enough to swing an election… the smart politician will just embrace the majority. It’s an easy win. Why vote for that guy… all he cares about is (blank). I support (blank) as well, and I’m going to do (the other thing).
This is also why the parties haven’t been replaced in over a century. As the parties themselves have gotten weaker in their influence on political thought, they’ve become more adaptable to the whims of the people (or at least paying lip-service).