Grassroots Analytics / 2020 / Politics & Government

PrimaryCast tool for Grassroots Analytics, is a tool to see their predictions of who will win upcoming primary races for Congress and Senate, displayed on an interactive map


Background and Challenge

The Grassroots team asked Graphicacy to visualize key data points that inform the unique modeling that sets them apart from their competitors. Prior to the deployment of PrimaryCast, the data and methodology behind Grassroots’ model was only available to their clients; it was not shared publicly, as it is now.

Opportunity and Solution

The Grassroots team came away from the engagement with an intuitive platform that brings their data to life and raises the profile of their unique approach in the predictive election modeling space. Through this tool, they are able to effectively demonstrate to campaigns what has worked, and not worked for other primary candidates in the past.

The data includes fundraising, demographic match, name recognition and organizational support.

Design: The central visual is a color-coded U.S. map that displays the range of competitiveness of each primary race. Competitive races tend to attract the most fundraising and media attention. The more competitive a race is, the darker its shade of blue on the map. Uncontested races are gray.

Users can toggle between state-wide races (Senate and gubernatorial) and races for the House of Representatives. The House map uses a unique tile cartogram, sourced from Daily Kos, that accurately sizes states by the number of congressional districts.

Clicking on a state or congressional district on the map calls up the corresponding primary race in a sidebar, where the user can see the individual candidate’s chances of winning. Clicking on a candidate name expands a profile that displays letter grades on metrics such as fundraising or name recognition that the Grassroots Analytics model assigned them.

Engineering: In working with the team at Grassroots Analytics, Graphicacy’s engineering team tackled a particular challenge: how to ensure minimum costs to a client while storing changing data and providing updates on fast-changing predictions. Our goal was to maximize the impact of PrimaryCast, a data visualization and mapping tool that provides predictions for the Democratic Primaries. Like many similar non-profit organizations, Grassroots Analytics needed to track this information to keep their supporters up-to-date on primary predictions and to increase their donor base.

Our mandate was to rely on an open source approach in order to ensure minimum possible cost to our client. This framework carried the additional benefits of removing the need for deploying and maintaining a database or needing to learn a new CMS API. Consequently, we developed a lightweight, adaptable, and understandable backend solution, using Google Sheets.

Graphicacy helped make our vision a reality. With a tight budget and quick timeline, Graphicacy created a beautiful and functional website for our users. I look forward to working with the team again in the future.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole, Director of Marketing, Grassroots Analytics

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