Observation Deck

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Deck delivers results for organizations of all sizes — from presidential campaigns to city council races and everything in between.

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Evaluating our 2022 Forecasts

This cycle, significant polling bias against Democrats stoked fears of a red wave. But Deck’s forecasts not only much more accurately predicted the final results of elections, but most importantly was far less biased in doing so. Deck’s median absolute error (MAE) was 2.9pp for Democratic vote share across all state and federal races in November 2022. Deck’s forecast’s underpredicted Democratic vote share by an average of 1.04pp.

Organizing with Deck

All campaigns need to recruit and retain volunteers. Deck offers tools to help you find and contact potential volunteers and in this blog I cover how to best make use of those tools and cover general organizing best practices.

Redistricting at Deck

Anyone working in politics right now knows redistricting has stalled campaigns this year. Between waiting for maps to be proposed, approved, challenged in court, voter file updates, and redraws, redistricting can feel like one endlessly drawn-out process.

Targeting Democratic campaigns with Mesa

Your organization has decided to make a difference by helping get Democrats elected around the country. Amazing! There are hundreds of thousands of races across the country and deciding which races to invest in and when is a tricky question. You want to make sure your investment is going to make a difference.

Introducing Mesa

This past election cycle showed us the work organizations need to do to help Democratic campaigns win. Prioritizing outreach and talking to the right people is essential for successful campaigns going into 2022.

Introducing Hubble

Working in progressive data is great. We have no shortage of meaningful questions to answer, organizers to empower, and fun experiments to run.

But before any of that can happen, we usually have to find and clean some sort of gnarly public data. And that’s where this job can get frustrating.

Introducing Deck for local campaigns

After the 2020 election, we sought feedback from dozens of users and partners on how Deck should evolve for future cycles. Over and over again, we heard that there’s a big unmet need for a tool like Deck at the local level.

Reaching the right voters in a Democratic primary

Targeting in primaries is tough! Turnout is usually pretty low and it can be hard to differentiate your supporters from your opponents’ supporters. So who should you try to mobilize? Who should you try to persuade? Should you even have a turnout or persuasion program at all?

How we predict which candidates a voter will support

At Deck, we build predictions using an approach we call “contextual inference.” Most predictive models in politics are trained on survey responses. Those responses are then generalized to a broader audience based on the demographic and socioeconomic traits of the respondents. Our approach instead captures real data on individuals’ past behaviors (at the precinct level)...

Our 2020 vote-by-mail models

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented efforts to promote voting by mail, instability at the USPS, and Donald Trump’s anti-democratic rhetoric against voting by mail, past patterns in voting by mail may not hold this year. At the same time, the process of voting by mail has several checkpoints on the side of both voters...

A billion scores per minute

Running complex predictive models on huge datasets can be a pain. At Deck, we’re really feeling that pain. Every day, our product runs several models on almost 13 billion rows of data — representing every campaign/voter relationship for the offices we support. It’s been a struggle to do this in a way that balances accuracy,...