The Closing Digital Divide Between Republicans & Democrats

As many of you know, I’m a conservative Catholic. But recently I was given the opportunity to share my views on digital with the Orthodox Jewish Mishpacha Magazine.

Regarding the digital divide between Republicans and Democrats, I said that the gap is closing.

“Online budgets are increasing; digital strategists are getting a seat at the table,” says GOP digital strategist Anthony Bonna. “Republicans aren’t where we need to be yet, but the digital divide is rapidly tightening.”

The fact is more and more conservative Republican political campaigns are investing in a digital strategy at every level of government. National Republicans are taking more seriously the call to invest in technology and data.

Additionally, I addressed privacy concerns shared by many voters.

“Data strategists in both parties wave away the fear, though, claiming that there’s a bright red line dividing the troves of conventional data and those related to more personal behaviors. Says Republican digital strategist Anthony Bonna: ‘A campaign might know they’re targeting a specific individual, but they don’t know anything about that user’s behavior online or offline. Conversely, a campaign might target users who visit specific sites or exhibit certain behaviors online and offline. In these circumstances, the advertiser does not know the identity of the individuals being targeted.’”

To clarify my quote, we can obviously infer information about a user’s behavior offline from the voter file, the origin or demographics of the list, or through information voluntarily provided by the voter. At the campaign level, my point was that when we target specific individuals, we are not keeping a record of what they are doing. And when we targeting specific online behaviors, we are not keeping a record of what specific individuals are exhibiting that behavior.