Political mapping tool identifies pockets of red in blue-state Vermont


RED STATE VERMONT?: Although the Green Mountain State runs a deep shade of blue, a political mapping tool from Clarity Campaign Labs finds pockets of red on a town-by-town basis.

Bruce Parker | Vermont Watchdog

Vermont may be the bluest of blue states, but a new political mapping tool reveals that even the most left-leaning states have right-leaning outposts.

The What Town Matches My Politics? tool from Clarity Campaign Labs uses seven survey statements to identify red or blue towns in every state. The statements address issues ranging from guns and abortion to taxes and climate change.

To find out which towns in a given state align with their own political views, users of the tool select survey statements with which they agree, and then select “find the best fit.” The search results then identify the town most closely aligned to the user’s own political perspective.

According to Clarity Campaign Labs’ analytics formula, Vermont is not solid blue from border to border. While the tool identifies Burlington as the most liberal part of the state, it identifies North Concord as the most conservative.

Mixing the seven survey variables produces mixed results. For example, according to the tool, fiscally conservative religious Democrats can find like-minded neighbors in Huntington. Likewise, socially liberal Republicans should feel right at home in Northfield Falls or Brunswick.

Clarity Campaign Labs, a K Street consulting firm that works closely with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, claims advanced statistical analysis is an effective way to identify conservative and liberal areas inside of states. Once such areas are identified, campaign strategists use the microtargeting data to advance agendas and win political campaigns at the local level.

But does it work?

Clarity Campaign Labs cites a recent LGBT non-discrimination ordinance victory in Pocatello, Idaho, as proof that political microtargeting is effective. In addition, the group claims credit for helping New Jersey Democrats hold their state senate majority last fall — even though Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, won 60 percent of the popular vote.

While the tool is designed to help the Democratic Party wage policy battles and win campaigns at the local level, any individual of any political persuasion can use the tool for microtargeting purposes.

To view a list of the most liberal and conservative towns in each state, visit Business Insider’s national map, which was created using the tool.

Contact Bruce Parker at bparker@watchdog.org