Winning Votes
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Winning Votes

In your district you will need to do some combination of registering voters, persuading voters and turning out voters. The plan that you can create in Deck will give your campaign a breakdown of how much time to spend with each of these objectives.

📋 Registering New Voters

Before your campaign starts to register new voters it is critically important to understand how voters can register to vote in your state and what information is required to successfully register to vote. Your state's Secretary of State should have all of that relevant information.

First, you'll want to familiarize yourself with groups in your area that are doing voter registration. There are national groups such as Voto Latino and Voter Participation Center that focus heavily on getting people registered to vote. There may be smaller groups in your area that have this focus as well. You may decide that your campaign would benefit from also having your own registration efforts or you may decide to let other groups focus on voter registration.

Registration Treatment Effects

Below are the baseline assumed intent-to-treat effects of different voter contact tactics in a registration universe. The actual impact of a registration voter contact might be slightly different in your district but this will be a good place for you to start.

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Registering voters can be tough as it involves a lot of time spent clipboarding at places like public libraries, farmers markets and concerts and talking to as many people as possible.

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Clipboarding is also known as street canvassing. It is most traditionally done at large in-person gatherings, think farmers markets & concerts, where you can talk to a large volume of people with little effort. Of course it gets its name from the organizer or volunteer working with a clipboard.

🤔 Persuading Voters

A key part of a campaign is changing voters' minds. The margins of victory tend to get smaller and smaller as you go down the ballot, as more voters are likely to vote for the person rather than the party — but these voters need to have heard from your campaign. Persuasion conversations can be very challenging and very rewarding.

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Most campaigns conduct persuasion through phone calls or door-to-door canvassing. Some campaigns might also have persuasion content for digital and/or TV ads.

Persuasion Voter Contact Effects

Below are the baseline assumed intent-to-treat effects of different voter contact tactics in a persuasion universe. The actual impact of a persuasion voter contact might be slightly different in your district but this will be a good place for you to start.

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Persuasion Messaging

Crafting your persuasion message will be critical because the message for your supporters and your base should be different from your persuasion universe. You'll want to keep your messaging fairly consistent across your campaign.

It is typically recommended to try to keep your persuasion messaging positive, especially in ranked choice elections. You'll need to obviously highlight the difference between you and your opponent though you should try to keep it focused on you and what you are going to do.

If you need a refresher on defining your message you can read more here.

Persuasion Universe

Setting your persuasion universe will be critical in making sure you are talking to the right people with the right message. In general, a persuasion universe should be people who do not already support your campaign (found using the support score) and people who are likely to vote for a different party than they voted for last time (found using the partisan elasticity score).

We have documentation here on creating a persuasion universe using Deck's candidate-specific scores

👟 Turning Out Your Supporters

Voter turnout is also a critical part of your campaign. You need your supporters to turn out to vote for you if you want to win. In 2020, we saw how critical turnout was to Democratic victories especially in states like Georgia and nationally, with winning back the presidency.

Turnout Treatment Effects

Below are the baseline assumed intent-to-treat effects of different voter contact tactics in a turnout universe. The actual impact of a turnout voter contact might be slightly different in your district but this will be a good place for you to start.

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Turnout Messaging

The theories behind turnout are a little less nuanced in comparison to persuasion tactics. Turning out voters is less particular to your campaign's messaging and there are more general best practices that you can implement.

There have been many studies on the best turnout messaging for Get Out the Vote (GOTV). Traditional themes of GOTV messaging include:

  • Commit to vote
    • Encouraging your voters to commit to vote can be a critical component of a GOTV program whether that be through commit to vote cards or other methods.
  • Making a plan to vote
    • Nearly every voter understands that they should say "yes I will vote" but asking them what their plan to vote helps make sure that they will in fact vote.

Both the Analyst Institute and Arena have great resources for creating a full GOTV program with more information on how to create your messaging for your campaign.

Turnout Universes

Your turnout universe should be as specific and detailed as you'd expect your persuasion universe should be. When creating your turnout universe, you'll want to focus on turning out voters who are less likely to vote without a reminder or help and voters who are likely to vote for you.

We have additional guidance on creating your turnout universe using Deck's candidate specific turnout and support scores here.

Want to get started with Deck? Schedule a time to talk with us here or email us at info@deck.tools!