Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Are Mobile Apps affecting the Elections?

Summary: This is an article that highlights the consequence of the coming age of technology and application development. It highlights the influence of Smartphones, their various platforms and applications on the impending elections. It provides stats and facts for the same.


Now who would have thought this was possible? Although, people from the tech town have been going on and on about how much mobiles and their applications have started influencing our lives, I doubt if anyone was prepared to hear that mobile phones and mobile application development has started inching its way into the political scenario as well.

Mobile Stats

Before one can contemplate over the kind of contribution, or let’s just say influence, mobile applications and Smartphones can have over votes and the next Presidential candidates, we must understand the demographics of the mobile phone users themselves.
mobile stats

It has been identified via studies that approximately 88% of the population of America has mobile phones. Out of this whopping 88%, a huge chunk of 53% of people has Smartphones. Talk about technological growth and advancements!

Platform Tendencies

Okay, I get it. I have been beating around the bush slightly, but here are the solid details. 70% of the states with a higher inclination towards the iPhone have shown a preference for Democrats, and 70% of the states with an inclination towards Android have shown a preference for the Republicans.

Wow, I mean, I really did not see that coming. I have always believed that technology and politics only come close during wars, but this is amazing. Well, unless, of course, you consider the election too as one.

Vote through Cell phones

This day and age, truly, nothing is impossible. So, a lot of mobile users have states that they are willing to cast votes through their smartphones. Of this population, 54% Democrats have shown willingness to cast votes from their mobiles. Republicans are a little behind on the scale with about 47%.
cell phone votes

On a male- female kind of a bifurcation, we can note that 49% of men are willing to cast votes through their phones and about 47% of the females. Honestly, I thought it would be the other way, but here they are.
The total percentage of smartphone users who are expected to cast votes through their Smartphones for this election is estimated to be at a 60%. Considering the growing enthusiasm, a sum total of $54 Million has been spent on digital platforms for campaigning, a major part of it, being Mobile.

Pandora

Pandora is a music application. Wondering what a music app is doing in an election count zone? Well, it has had its part to play. It has been observed that owing to the tremendous popularity of Pandora, both the candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have used it for their respective campaigns.

The user count for Pandora exceeds 150 million. And these 150 million users have heard approximately 3.4 billion hours of Radio through Pandora in only 6 months. This is why it is becoming a very important tool in targeting the audiences. It essentially offers three target scopes:
  • Targeting by congressional district
  •  Targeting by Geo location
  • Targeting by music genre

Interestingly, a mapping of the kind of music the Democrats and the Republicans like to listen to has also been conducted and it states that:

  • Republicans listen to:
  • Kenny Chesney, 
  • George Strait, 
  • Reba McEntire

  • Democrats listen to:
  • Rihanna, 
  • Jay-z, 
  • Madonna

Apps for Election

Door to door canvassing has helped in a huge way in terms of pulling in the votes. Apparently, about 1 out of every 14 people who have been contacted via Door to Door canvassing can collect the vote. Also, Both Obama and Romney have provided staff and field agents with mobile credit cards for individual funds which sum up to be large amounts. 

Barack Obama has apparently raised around $690.1 million from individual funds and Mitt Romney has been able to raise an approximate $633 million.

User Registration

User registration is also another point to ponder. A study indicates that 1 of every 4 users is not Registered. This is why DNC has released an Open Source Software that allows any website on the internet to embed an unbranded application that can enable citizens to register for votes.

In fact, 1 in every 13 states has allowed registration for voting via web applications or mobile applications. Washington State has also brought about a Facebook application for voters to get themselves registered.  There has already been a whopping 475,000 user registration using online mediums. 62% of these were by people under the age of 35 years. 

Latest technology truly amazes me. I don’t quite know if I should be thrilled about this or should fear what's going to happen in the world in the coming few years. Gee! I guess I need to watch iRobot once again to understand the dynamics.

About Blogger
Justin Depp is an creative iPhone Developer; currently working with AppsKnack, a iPhone application development company that believes in creating stunning iPhone apps for all small businesses like Musicians, Medical, Sports & other Businesses. If you'd like to guest post for US check out our Write for Us page for details about how YOU can share your knowledge with our online community.

Hannah Jones

Author & Editor

From Skopje, Macedonia, Also works as Software Quality Assurance.

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