All Politics is Local: Introducing Congressional District Targeting for Google AdWords

Friday, August 3, 2012

Originally posted to the Politics & Elections Blog

In his autobiography, Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said “All politics is local”. With all 435 seats up for election in brand new Congressional Districts this November, that adage rings even more true for House candidates running this fall. Through the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years, every district takes on a new shape - with new voters. This makes reaching the right voters with the right message even tougher.

Starting today, in addition to targeting specific zip codes, we’re enabling an even more useful solution that allows political campaigns to reach voters within a specific Congressional District.

Say you are running for Congress in the 6th District of Maryland - which features a highly publicized race between Ten-term incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Montgomery County businessman John Delaney. The 6th is located in western Maryland, and has been a longtime GOP stronghold, but was drastically reshaped by redistricting which has made it more competitive.

Barlett and Delaney’s campaigns are waging a battle in the oddly shaped district that has voters in many zip codes, towns and communities looks like this:

(This map embedded above is courtesy of data from Azavea)

As campaigns know, reaching these households in an effective manner with traditional means takes time and - importantly - valuable resources. This district is a great example - it includes voters who live in the Washington D.C. media market. But, as you can see from the map, buying TV ads in DC won’t reach your voters in the 6th District.

Now, with congressional district targeting in AdWords, campaigns can quickly and easily target their search, display, mobile and video ads *solely* within that particular district’s border. You can start by heading into AdWords and selecting your District number from the location menu populated with district information in simple Google Maps format, prepared by Azavea. Build your ad and you’re on your way.

We’ve built a sizable team that is working around the clock to help all candidates get the most from their online advertising efforts. Congressional District Targeting in AdWords is just one more way that we’re working hard to deliver better ads for users and voters and better tools for political campaigns.

By working across all four screens, digital ads are highly accountable, precise, and continually evolving. Google’s complete solution helps thousands of political campaigns in all shapes and sizes make the web work for them. Our products are designed to work together, enabling campaigns do more with less online. Head over to the Four Screens to Victory site to learn more about how your campaign can win the moments that matter.

Posted by: Charles Scrase, Google Politics & Elections Team

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