Here's Where The Last Remaining Swing Voters Eat

Image courtesy of Teofilo

Hey, Barack and Mitt! As you struggle to find the last few remaining undecided voters, why not use our socio-demographic breakdowns of restaurants in swing districts to find out where they are all having dinner tonight?

 

America is a divided country. Every election, the same states vote for the same party. These regional patterns shift and shimmy gradually over the decades, but generally the electoral maps from one election to another won't waver tremendously.

The vast majority of Americans halve long ago pledged their undying allegiance to Team Barack or to Team Mitt. These votes are written in stone. And modern campaigns know this.

Today's presidential campaigns are forced to wage fierce billion-dollar battles for the hearts and minds of an itsyy-bitsy teenie-weenie sliver of undecided swing voters flailing about in the wishy-washy middle.

Who makes up this small enclave of uncommitted middle-dwellers? Online polling site Civic Science laid out their findings on the undecideds as more likely to be:

  • Female. 62% of Undecideds are female, compared to only 55% of Decideds.
  • Younger. Undecideds are 25% more likely to be under age 55.
  • Lower Income. 46% of Undecided voters live in households that make less than $50,000/year, compared to just 35% of Decideds.

As a group, some campaign insiders are referring to these voters as "Walmart moms." As you might expect, there are a higher concentration of these undecided voters in the last remaining swing states. Polling for House races can help pinpoint "swing districts" within these larger swing states. So, we can expect Obama and Romney to be spending a lot of time over the next month in these bastions of indecision, meeting face-to-face with voters at strategically chosen small businesses and local eateries. Click here to see who's shopping at Wal-Marts near you.

And we would like to help out!

Utilizing Bundle's signature database of aggregated anonymous data culled from credit card transactions, we can start to build a demographic breakdown of specific businesses and pinpoint where both candidates should stage their campaign stops over the next month to meet face-to-face with these very prized swing voters. Click here to read what we found when we number crunched the keynote convention speeches.

It's all about the numbers

First, using polling and electoral-vote.com and The New York Times' election data site, we were able to separate these remaining battlegrounds. For example, current polling (as of writing this piece) points that Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes are leaning towards Obama, but still could go either way. Within the state, the state's 8th district is considered a "toss-up."

Barack ObamaThis district has historically bounced back and forth between being represented by Republicans and Democrats. And current demographic data shows that it is ripe with Walmart moms: it's 95.1% white, evenly split between men and women, and has a median income of $37,911. The largest city in the area is Duluth. But where to stop?

Eat up

If I was a hungry candidate passing through Duluth, I might want to stop by for a photo-op at Mr. D's Bar & Grill. Here the candidates can see live music, chomp on a burger, or converse with the locals who mostly consist of families (54% compared to 34% for surrounding businesses), young patrons (52% of patrons are between 26 and 35), and those who are part of a household that makes between $20 and $40k per year (45%—perhaps drawn in by the $26 average price).

They might also consider the Duluth Grill. Here, the average total bill including tip and tax is only $28. About a third of the customer base is singles and a third is aged 50-65, meaning it's a good mix of locals who might be open to hear a candidate's message. If the candidates want to get some fundraising in, here are the most exclusive restaurants in Duluth.

Iowa is also another state that could tilt either way come November. And one of the closest regions is the state's 3rd district that includes the cities of Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

When stopping by Des Moines, Romney or Obama might be wise to pick-up some grub at Jethro's BBQ where they can get a hearty meal, but only pay a total average price of $28. Our data shows that about a third of Jethro's patrons are married with kids (34%) and a smaller percentage of the total customer base is between the ages of 26 and 35 (28%). Venn diagram logic would show that there's gonna be some Walmart moms hanging out at Jethro's. On the other side, here's Des Moines' most expensive meals.

If stomping through Cedar Rapids and in the mood for some pizza, we might recommend Leonardo's Restaurant where our data shows it's 77% married couples, the majority of which make a total household income of less than $75k.

Mitt RomneyNewlycome swing state North Carolina has one toss-up district, it's 8th district which includes parts of Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Concord. When stopping by this swath of southern North Carolina, the candidates might want to steer their campaign bus to R&R Barbecue in Concord where the average total check is $21 and the patrons are primarily families and married couples (87%).

Or, if they are feeling in a more carnivorous mood, there's Sagebrush of Albermarle in the town of Albermarle. Here, the average total check is $29, but the majority of customers spend a total between $18 and $50. Forty-two percent of the customers are families, and a small minority of single parents (8%).

Hopefully our assorted army of MIT data nerds was able to help out this billion-dollar process we call Democracy along the path to pinpointing the last available Walmart shoppers who will decide the fate of the free world. Happy election season, everybody!

Barack Obama image via Facebook
Mitt Romney image via Facebook 

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Evan Dashevsky is the Editor of Bundle.com, follow him @haldash