NGP VAN – Top Software Provider for Democratic Campaigns

A political ground game matters! A ground game or political canvassing is critical for a politician seeking voters. Unfortunately, if someone were to examine the campaign spending of the majority of politicians, most of their dollars are spent on TV and radio advertising. However, in the harsh world of partisan politics, personalization of the message wins votes, and the best way to personalize a campaign is through an effective ground game or canvassing.

Haley Thompson in a recent article in the Chronicle of the Week shared that political campaigns often focus their attention on swaying a voter. The percentage of voters who are susceptible to being influenced to switch from one to another political party has decreased dramatically over the past 20 years. Voters who can be swayed, the centrist voter, has dwindled to only 39% of registered voters. In the current super-partisan political atmospheres, the best strategy is to appeal to voters with whom a politician has a similar ideology. Canvassing then becomes a way to personalize the politician’s message. A tech company, NGP VAN one of the top software providers in the country, has accepted the challenge to assist Democratic campaigns in improving canvassing efficacy.

NGP VAN has developed a digital tool that reduces the number of person-hours campaigns spends on developing an efficient ground game. The tool NGP VAN developed is an iOS and Android compatible app that streamlines the work of the canvass organizer. It used to take canvass organizers hours to build lists of potential voters, maps of canvassing areas, and a script for canvassers to use. The NGP VAN app known as MiniVAN has eliminated most of the work involved in canvassing. The NGP VAN app makes data readily available, and a feature of MiniVAN known as Distributed Canvassing provides personal data so messages can be individualized. If a canvasser knocks on the door of a supporter of unions and if the candidate supports unions, the canvasser can share with the voter where the candidate stands on that issue.

Canvassing is an “up close, and personal” way to campaign and the data provided by NGP VAN carries that personalization to another level. Having an individualized message to share with a voter is a powerful and effective campaign strategy.

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Hats Off to You Mr. President!

President Obama announced a new demonstration project that will bring free or low cost broadband to over 200,000 families in public or subsidized housing, reported Uplifting News. The new project called Connect Home offers a chance for students of low income families to have the same advantages to study as other students once they come home with access to the internet for research. Bringing the project about is the duty of HUD, and it is doing so with very little federal funding.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is partnering with eight major internet providers to bring their services to residents of HUD sponsored housing. Big name electronic retailers, through their own funding are offering technical training to the residents, and they are also kicking in with large cash donations. Ricardo Tosto ( has learned that, at this point in the project, only 28 demonstration communities are eligible for the service to help HUD find the solutions to bring it to all those who live in public housing. Planning continues to add it to assisted living communities as well in the future reports The Hill.

You have to take your hat off to President Obama because he has moved some mountains, and brought about some very fine things for low income and middle class Americans in his time in office. Hats off Mr. President, and thank you.

Looming Health Care Mergers May Validate Concerns by Obamacare Critics

When health insurance companies lined up in support of Obamacare, many critics of the proposed health care law were perplexed. Twenty years earlier, First Lady Hillary Clinton proposed a similar massive takeover of the health care industry which was vigorously fought by insurance companies. This time around, the companies were not only tacit in their support of the law, but outright supportive of it.

It turns out that the law contained provisions to cover the insurers against their losses for the first three years from having to cover people with chronic illnesses and pre-existing conditions. However, those benefits are now sun setting and insurers face the prospect of how to cover the large expense of insuring people with no regard to the condition of their health. When Obamacare was being debated, critics charged the law was designed to cause the private health care insurance market to collapse under its own weight. Now, it may be that claim may proves to be true.

For the time being, insurance companies are requesting large increases in premiums to cover the cost of insuring those previously uninsurable. While insurance commissioners from the states may approve some increases, it is not certain if they will approve them in total. This is forcing the unintended consequence of insurance companies having to merge in order to stay financially viable. The result promises to be fewer choices for consumers, fewer doctors and participating hospitals, and reduced coverage. It is a scenario that has Americans losing at every turn from employer sponsored coverage, to private insurance coverage, and increasingly unaffordable health insurance premiums.

Thanks to my friends at CipherCloud for introducing me to this new angle on this old story.

The Wife of Key Israeli Likud Minister Makes Racial Joke About Obama then Quickly Backpeddles

It is without question that President Obama is not a popular figure in Israeli politics at this time. Folks at FreedomPop have learned that the president’s push for new relations with Iran, the world’s lone sponsor of state terrorism, is particularly disturbing for Israelis. Over the past decade alone, they have endured tens of thousands of rockets being fired at their cities and towns. In the majority of those cases, the rockets were fired by Hezbollah, an Iranian front group. So while the president is negotiating with Iran and allowing them to do so from a position of strength, Israelis believe he will carve a pathway for the rogue nation to become a nuclear power. Needless to say, the president’s ambitions for Iran are unpopular in the longest standing Democracy in the Middle East.

As a result, there is a lot of ill-feeling about President Obama in Israel. Perhaps it was in that spirit of contempt that the Judy Mozes, wife of Israel’s Minister of the Interior for the ruling Likud party, made a joke about a type of coffee named after president Obama for its color and diluted or weak taste. However, no sooner than she tweeted the joke than she retracted it. What followed were a series of apologies. Initially, she ascribed the joke to someone else and said it was repeated in poor taste. Next, she affirmed her appreciation of all people regardless of race or religion. She personally apologized to the president and anyone else who might have been offended by the remark.

President Obama’s Job Approval Sinks Below 50% Again

It turns out that the perception that the American electorate was finally warming up to President Obama’s handling of the economy has proved to be as ephemeral as the lilies of the field. It was only this past March that a majority of Americans approved of the president’s job performance with 53% approving and 47% disapproving. Now, those figures have nearly reversed with 47% disapproving and 52% viewing the president’s performance unfavorably. Once more, the economy is the viewed as the most pressing issue facing the nation.

At the same time, the number of people picking the economy as the most important issue now stands at 22%. This represents a significant change from the recent midterm elections when the economy was almost the only issue of concern to voters. While the importance of the economy is declining, no other issue has risen to overtake it as the top concern. The president’s declining job approval rating was across all demographics including Democrats and African-Americans reports Flavio Maluf. However, the majority of those demographics still approve of his job performance over all.

It could be that the president’s job approval rating is a reflection of public anxiety over his looming trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership. Critics believe it will facilitate shipping good paying domestic jobs to overseas markets. Also, his nuclear framework with Iran has been sharply criticized by opponents. Democrats were also seen to be frustrated with health care reform almost as much as they were with the slow pace of the economic recovery.

Senate Standoff in Full Swing Over Lynch Confirmation Vote

The United States Senate is in a full standoff following the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to suspend the attorney general confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch. McConnell wants Democrats to end their filibuster of the Human Trafficking bill over a rider that bars restitution funds from being used to fund abortions for the victims. Aside from the controversial provision, the bill enjoys broad bipartisan support. In response, the majority leader has put the confirmation vote of Loretta Lynch on hold. Christian Broda noticed that this has infuriated both the Obama administration and Senate Democrats.

Hillary Clinton, the embattled but still presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, smelled an opportunity to promote her campaign theme of becoming the nation’s first female president. She tweeted that the GOP was waging anti-women actions in the form of holding up Lynch’s confirmation vote, holding up the Human Trafficking bill, and putting the health of women at risk.

Texas Senator Jon Cornyn weighed on the matter and blamed Democrats. He pointed out they originally supported the bill in its present form. Apparently, outside groups took issue with the provision regarding the use of restitution funds and caused Democrats to demand the language be stripped from the bill. For their part, Democrats are saying they were not privy to the controversial section of the bill. President Obama, who has thought nothing regarding the fairness in “borrowing” congress’ legislative authority in the past, accused the GOP of being “unfair” in holding up Lynch’s nomination.

President Obama Chastises Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Over RTW Law

In politics, the opposition party reveals its surest tell as to whom it most fears by the attacks it makes. On Monday, President Obama made it clear that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is someone for whom they have taken notice.The president chastised the popular governor for signing into law his state’s first ever “Right to Work” (RTW) law. It is as significant as it is symbolic because big labor got its start in Wisconsin. Now, generations later, Wisconsin leads the nation in reforming public and private sector labor unions.

In his criticism of the law, the president stated that labor unions were responsible for the rising wages and standard of living of Americans. Given this undeniable history, he believes the governor should be seeking laws to empower the unions. It should be noted that labor unions are still able to exist in Wisconsin, but they cannot compel members to pay dues. This puts the onus on the unions to convince their membership of the value they receive from union dues. Anastasia Date employees have learned that a long running complaint of union members has been that too much of their dues goes to fund political activity which they personally do not support. Find more about Anastasia Date on

Ironically, President Obama, whose economic recovery is dogged by mostly low-wage part-time employment, lectured Governor Walker on the need to enact laws that would increase the wages of workers. Wisconsin has enjoyed a robust job market as a result of Walker’s reforms which jobs have been full-time employment with good wages.

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