There hasn’t been a landslide election for the US president since Ronald Reagan won in 1984. In fact, in 2020, the margin was much smaller. President Biden got 51.3% of the votes compared to former President Trump’s 46.8%.1 Third-party candidates picked up 1.8%. With margins that slim, a few votes make a BIG difference. Early polling by New York Times2 and others continue to show Biden and Trump tied as the frontrunners, so we may be in for a rematch. For them and all the candidates, one way to pick up a few inches in this potential 2024 Presidential ‘tug of war’ will be targeting microsegments of voters.
Campaigns must understand, target and activate these microsegments of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Currently, Trump has a very comfortable lead with potential Republican voters, and Biden has one on the Democratic side.3 However, Biden’s overall popularity continues to decline. According to FiveThirtyEight, those who disapprove of his performance stood at 55.7% in early September.4 So, it’s possible that the potential Biden vs. Trump rematch would be even closer than the 2020 “first round.”
This shows that the 2024 presidential campaign will require the freshest data available to target microsegments of potential voters. The resulting data “arms race” will leverage innovations in data technology to analyze and act on insights such as these. Access to the right data (and a lot of it) to determine who is persuadable and how they can be persuaded will be the key to success. And campaigns won’t find that in traditional voter files.
It’s a game of tug of war, and identifying and winning over these persuadable voters will be key to winning. Developing audience-targeting strategies for voter segments that can be moved to vote outside of party lines is essential… even when targeting within a party. An example we see in the headlines is the fight for abortion rights.
Just looking at the voting history of a staunch Republican won’t guarantee that voters will follow the party line on abortion. The headlines have proven that to be true. Resonate has been tracking American sentiment around the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court since June 2022 and has found that the percentage of Americans who don’t support the overturning has stayed between 45% and 47% for more than a year.
In our most recent report, Resonate Data revealed that only 24% of Americans somewhat or strongly support its overturning. So, given those insights, we can presume there are Republicans, Democrats and Independents who could be swayed to vote for a candidate that has either pro-choice or less restrictive views on abortion.
We went into the Resonate Ignite platform to learn more about where voters registered as Republicans or Democrats and where those who are considered “Impressionable Independents” stand on abortion rights. Let’s start with what we discovered at a high level:
(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, September 2023)
Looking at these high-level insights, we see that there is an addressable online adult population of 74.2M Registered Democrats, 50.4M Registered Republicans and 18.5M Impressionable Independents. If you are campaigning for a Democrat or Republican, that 18.5M audience of Independents should be of great interest because they offer an opportunity to gain more votes for your candidate. Just by looking at Resonate’s continuously refreshed AI-powered data, we easily see more than just the size of the audience. Their top personal values and top psychological drivers don’t align. However, when you look at the daily routines of each group, you see that both Impressionable Independents and the Registered Republicans cite prayer as an important part of their day. That’s an important insight that you won’t find in traditional voter files and could help in crafting messaging.
We also looked specifically at views on abortion – another value that you won’t find in voter files – to see where each of these audiences fell on the issues. This is where understanding microsegments of Registered Democrats, Registered Republicans and Impressionable Independents comes into play. You may be able to sway segments as small as 5% and win a campaign by understanding the values and motivators of groups of voters.
Republicans and Democrats fall along the lines we would expect when we look at how these audiences land on whether abortion should be illegal. However, the Impressionable Independents offer a potential opportunity for a pro-life candidate. 8% of this group of 18.5M voters (about the population of New York) feel strongly that abortion should be illegal in all cases…that may seem like a small group, but in a race measured by inches, it could be the difference between a win and a loss.
Pro-choice candidates also have a chance to sway some of these Impressionable Independents. We looked at where our audiences stand on whether abortion should be legal in “most cases:”
Resonate Data shows that 19% of Impressionable Independents feel pretty strongly that it should be legal in most cases, so a candidate with a pro-choice message with “guardrails” around when it is available could pull some of this audience. Resonate tracks key attributes surrounding these – from how many weeks of pregnancy voters find acceptable, whether it should be legal if the life of the mother is in danger and more – in the Ignite platform.
Knowing where microsegments are today is vital, but staying abreast of how Americans feel about issues on an ongoing basis will be essential. Sentiment can change, after all. Tracking the changes in constituent outlook and behavior around topics like abortion, gun control, immigration laws and more over an extended election cycle will be a deciding factor in this race.
Identifying and activating against insights around niche segments of voters quickly – and consistently– is critical to creating data-informed messaging that reaches the voters who’ll decide this election.
To equip your campaigns with a more effective and efficient data-informed segmentation strategy, leverage constantly updated AI-powered data from Resonate for the freshest, most accurate view of any constituency.
Resonate’s proprietary AI-powered data helps you build larger coalitions and win more campaigns. Highly predictive modeling allows campaigns to speak directly to advocates who support their policy positions — independent of partisan alignment.