New guest article! Ben Donahower is an experienced campaign operative who runs Campaign Trail Yard Signs. No stranger to our esteemed pages, Ben wrote about QR codes in politics last August. Below, he heads to The Dark Side to examine some online tools for opposition research.
Online Tools for Opposition Research
Perhaps you think about opposition as a dark art where ruthless operatives find skeletons in a candidate’s closet. Or, maybe you picture a hapless intern poring over mountains of papers at the county courthouse. While there is some truth in both of these stereotypes, these days a lot of opposition research happens online. Many of the best tools are household names, but opposition researchers leverage them to reveal information that can change the course of a campaign. Buckle up!
Using advanced search operators, researchers get the most relevant search results unlocking a treasure trove of political intelligence. You can also get to many of the advanced search options by clicking on the options drop down on the top right of the search results page and choosing “advanced search.”
If you’re interested in a walkthrough of some of the ways that you can use Google search and docs to research a candidate’s background and pull voting records, check out the opposition research guide (self-aggrandizement alert, I wrote it) below: