The US Presidential Campaign Race to Collect Data

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How Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's websites are attempting to solicit the American public

Trump & Clinton
Trump & Clinton

The 2016 US Presidential race is fast approaching the final months. Over the next few weeks, Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will attempt to corral the greatest amount of support and interest through speeches and appearances, interviews and debates, as well as, every avenue of solicitation. From email, to text message, to phone call, the presidential parties will use a variety of platforms to communicate to the US citizen before election day.

In an effort to understand the solicitation process during a presidential race, DMN visited both presidential candidate websites to determine how each party is attempting to capture data (on the day of September 13).

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Party

When the website loads, there is no immediate sign of solicitation. A user has to scroll down to find a text box that reads: “Join the official campaign - and help stop Donald Trump!”The text box offers a line to type an email address and zip code, as well as, submit button reading, “Count Me In.” Once clicked, the user has developed profile on the website, where users can receive updates, news, event information and phone calls.

If a visitor decides not to participate in the email textbox, he/she will find a similar offer at the bottom of the webpage. The solicitation offer at the bottom of the page, however, also incorporates a space for visitors to submit their phone numbers, so they can “get texts from Hillary.”

Priority of data collection (based on prominence and order on page)

1: Email address/zip code

2: Phone number

3: Full name, address, state, zip code and phone number

Donald Trump

Republican Party

The eye is drawn directly to a photographic of Donald Trump and Vice President candidate Mike Pence. The website does not incorporate a flash textbox. However, the website does three locations to share data. The first is two blank spaces, where visitors can type in an email address and zip code, then submit by clicking “I'm In.” Below those spaces, a graphic is shown with text reading: “Text TRUMP to 88022 to get exclusive updates.”

Lastly, is the “Get Involved” tab. Appearing on the top menu, the button prompts a textbox to appear, where people are asked, but not required, to type in their full name, address, email address, state, zip code and phone number to receive periodic newsletters, text messages and volunteer opportunities.

Priority of data collection (based on prominence and order on page)

1: Email address/zip code

2: Phone number (Text message option)

3: Full name, address, state, zip code and phone number


Both websites appear to have a tiered system to solicitation. Firstly, each site is most concerned with obtaining a visitor's email address and zip code, thereby giving them a concrete idea of the location of their support. Text messages are second, allowing the party to deliver up-to-date news to visitor's cell phones. Lastly, and perhaps the most significant tier of the bunch, is the information slip. Party websites asks visitors to fill in full name, address, state, zip code and phone number to give them timely newsletters, text messages, email and phone calls.

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