Andrew Drechsler ’97 focusing candidates strategically
Andrew Drechsler ’97 of Washington, D.C., is vice president of two firms which specialize in microtargeting, a scientific function that builds statistical models predicting an individual’s behavior. Strategic Telemetry focuses on domestic political campaigns for progressive candidates and organizations; HaystaqDNA applies microtargeting to international campaigns and select commercial clients.
“Microtargeting allows campaigns to be smarter about where they spend their time and money,” Drechsler says. “For example, we can tell a campaign the percent likelihood on whether an individual will vote in an upcoming election – they can make an informed decision on how to reach out to them based on their support score for a candidate.
“Microtargeting is not magic,” Drechsler says. “A campaign still needs a strong candidate, strong message and a strong day-to-day operation. In close races, microtargeting can be the difference.” In January 2007, Drechsler’s firm was hired by an upstart campaign for a little-known U.S. senator who had the “monumental task” of knocking off two well-known, well-funded candidates.
“Fast-forward to November 2008. I was sitting in the boiler room in Chicago watching the presidential results rolling in. While the numbers side of me knew that Barack Obama would win, I knew how early positive results could turn quickly. I knew the win was secure before the networks announced Obama’s win, but it was still an exhilarating, emotional moment for me knowing I did my little part in the historic win.”