U.S. Election 2020: If Not Cambridge Analytica, Who’s Up With A Mastermind Strategy For Trump This Time?

The results of the U.S. Presidential Elections are much awaited. While Biden's supporters may be hoping for an end of Trump's reign, his probable win over Texas and Florida seem to be shaking them. While these areas had the toughest tests of the Republicans for Joe Biden, he is leading at other places with the dominance of the Democrats. As per the updates, Trump established his triumph over the two swing states, Texas and Florida, and this aspect may still twist things a lot.  

Considering the glimpse of the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, Donald Trump, and his strategies to be in power, everyone is eager to know if history is going to be repeated or come forward in some interesting new form. Joining hands with Cambridge Analytica, Trump from the Republican party, bagged his win in the U.S. elections in 2016. It was then a mastermind use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Cambridge Analytica And Its Role In U.S. Election 2016  

Cambridge Analytica is a company that offered its services to political parties and businesses, seeking to improve audience behavior. It was said to be done by analyzing huge consumer data and combining it with behavioral science to identify people who can be targeted with the marketing material. This data was collected from numerous sources, especially social media platforms like Facebook and its polling. This firm was an offshoot by S.C.L. Group, with its headquarters established in London.

Moreover, in one of the interviews, Alexander Nix, the founder of Cambridge Analytica, stated that their main purpose was "to address the vacuum in the U.S. Republican political market." Later in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney was defeated, and this became evident. Nix further mentioned that Democrats had been leading in the tech revolution involving digital engagement and data marketing. They saw this as an opportunity and dived into the arena. The company went defunct on 1st May 2018 for the great data scandal it did.

What Happened In U.S. Presidential Election 2016? 

The company had a commercial and a political wing. According to its political wing, they combined behavioral sciences, predictive data analytics, and innovative ad tech to bring up the award-winning approach. C.A. worked for the Ted Cruz campaign in the primary Republican elections and helped him to attain the 2nd most number of votes, grabbing the next position to Donald Trump. It was after this that the company helped Trump win the general elections.

As per the strategy for Ted Cruz Republican, Cambridge Analytica used innovative advertisements to target a suitable audience based on their personality. However, it had to delete all of the data acquired via Facebook in 2015, just before the general election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This strategy was therefore used only in the Ted Cruz campaign.

The Exact Strategy And Its Details  

Cambridge Analytica aimed at persuading users to vote through different advertisements to different users on the same topic. The personality of the users was predicted by collecting data regarding their Facebook likes. C.A.'s major goal was to persuade users to vote for Trump. This was supposed to be done by displaying a specific message to users that would result in some action or change of behavior. The company created the most convincing advertisements based on the personality of the target audience.

O.C.E.A.N. 

In order to combine behavioural sciences and innovative, convincing advertisements, C.A. fetched users' data from Facebook to predict their personality. The personality traits of the individuals were quantified and categorized on the basis of the OCEAN Personality Model:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Using these analytics, highly individualized advertisements were shared with that target audience to grab their vote. Moreover, according to many experts, this strategy can be considered to have a very minute difference from manipulation and is not mere persuasion.  

The Results Are Known But Were They Overstated? 

It's true that there was a considerable role of CA's Facebook advertisements in Trump's victory in the 2016  US Presidential election. However, there a few people who believe that the CEO, Alexander Nix, Christopher Wylie, and the media may be overstating it. While it is claimed that all the data collected from Facebook during the Ted Cruz campaign was deleted in 2015, investigations still found some of it on the web. It is also claimed that's during 2016 presidential elections, Cambridge Analytica used a different strategy, but there is no evidence to prove this. Also, the records show the exact number of people whose data was collected from Facebook. Considering the facts, the situation is still skeptical.

Trump's win can be recognized as the result of CA's "manipulative" strategy. During the 2016 presidential elections, there were three groups of citizens: Republicans, Democrats and Miscellaneous. Cambridge Analytica used the data collected from Facebook to convert the "miscellaneous" into the Republicans through persuading (or "manipulating") them. 

Donald Trump Vs. Joe Biden 

At the beginning of the election campaigns, the Democrats seemed to be all set to turn the triumph and put an end to Trump's presidency. Undeniably Trump has also shown the best of his efforts to keep up his seat. However, the results may take a turn anytime. The results are likely to be delayed due to various reasons, whether we consider early voting or the pandemic. Who has been working over Trump's campaign is also a mystery yet.

But an important question is: Will history repeat itself? Although CA has now closed down, what is the expert strategy that will work wonders for the hopeful candidates?