Donovan says Cambridge Analytica likely played a role in District 5 race

Mar 26, 2018

Credit Kerry Donovan Campaign

Colorado State Senator Kerry Donovan says she believes the controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica assisted her 2014 Republican rival.

The company is now under scrutiny for mining Facebook data to target political messaging in the 2016 presidential race. But reporting from the Denver Post shows they shopped their services around to Colorado’s Republican state house hopefuls in 2014.

At that time, District 5, which includes Eagle and Pitkin counties, was newly redrawn and hotly contested.  Democrat Kerry Donovan won by 1200 votes, one of the tightest races in the state. She says the opposition used negative campaign tactics throughout the race.

“We had over 50 negative mailers in my race alone,” Donovan said. “Looking back now at some of the ones they are flagging in other races, those are some of the same ones that were in my race.”

Cambridge Analytica and its Colorado subsidiaries allegedly searched Facebook users’ posts, likes and networks to identify which voters could be highly swayed by partisan messaging.