Moving From Politics to Policy in 2023: Pivoting with Data

Now that the midterms are over, public affairs and advocacy campaigns must pivot from politics to policy to win on the issues most critical to their industry in a sharply divided Congress. Many campaigns transition into the advocacy season armed with data to inform their messaging and media buys, such as previous cycle turnout lists, purchased donor and grassroots lists from friendlies, and commercially modeled voter files.     

There’s significant value in these sources to bolster public support around the issues. For example, a campaign can reasonably infer that audiences from these lists align with their broader partisan leanings. They can have confidence those audiences have recently been active in the political arena (i.e., a list of 2022 Democratic donors probably supports a 2023 marijuana legalization effort, or a list of high-turnout Republican gun owners will likely back a campaign to increase domestic oil drilling).   

The problem is there’s an inherent gamble when making these assumptions. You may be reaching many voters who align with you on a partisan level but could have little interest in—or even the opposite view on—the issue you’re attempting to engage them on. Static and limited-dimensional data sources will miss this, leading to wasteful spending and missed opportunities with your key audience segments.   

Aligning policy issues with target audiences using AI-powered intelligence

At Resonate, we’ve deployed AI models to build thousands of engaged audiences based primarily on their stance on the most relevant policy issues. We accomplish this by combining the nation’s largest public policy-focused survey with the online behavioral activity of 90% of the online electorate, allowing our clients to glean intelligence and target voter audiences based on the issue at hand. Our models then dig deeper to reveal the values, motivations, and life stages that inform an individual’s stance on any matter.  

With our modeling, campaigns can speak directly to the values and motivations of audiences who are genuinely aligned with—or proven to be persuadable about—an issue. The result? Effectively moving constituents to take action in support of your campaign objective.   

Heading into 2023, the new Congress is sharply divided on most issues, which will make passing legislation challenging. Because of that divide, President Biden is already feeling pressure from progressive groups to exercise the power of the pen in the form of executive actions. In any case, new laws impacting the public at large will require ample voter backing.    

Below are a few issues on the 2023 radar and a couple of audiences our models are starting to flag.   

Audience supporting legislation to federally legalize marijuana  

Coming off momentum created by Biden’s 2022 marijuana reform law, the marijuana and cannabis industry sees a real opportunity to finally get federal legalization over the line, but they’ll need considerable public support.   

At Resonate, our models are tracking 88 million voters in real-time who support the federal legalization of marijuana, which is just over half of all registered voters online. We’ve also picked up another ≈50 million online voters who are persuadable on the issue, which is a critical audience for the industry to educate and ultimately activate. Below are some key insights on the supporter audience:

US policy issues marijuana legalization

(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, December 2022)


As you’d expect, most voters who support federal marijuana legalization are Democrats. However, 20% are Republicans, and there’s a large swatch of Independents at 23%.    

Our models demonstrate extensive crossover support for environmental issues and reducing climate change, equality, and civil liberties. These are all key policy insights when considering data sources and messaging highlighting the societal benefits of federal marijuana legalization.   

consumer values marijuana support

(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, December 2022)


The data also shows that most of these voters are millennials who are personally motivated by increasing their wealth, living an exciting life, and gaining recognition from peers. This younger adult audience is maturing and seeking status, opportunities, and acceptance. These values should be considered when building campaigns around marijuana and cannabis issues.  

Domestic oil and energy production   

Between COVID, the War in Ukraine, and unpredictable prices at the pump, 2022 was a contentious one between the President and American oil companies…and Americans certainly felt the impact. Heading into the New Year, Republicans will likely continue pushing for more domestic drilling and production. At Resonate, our models have identified the army of voters ready to make the most noise supporting this agenda.   

policy issues domestic oil and energy production

(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, December 2022)


The data shows that most of these ≈88 million voters online are Republicans. However, 30% are Democrats, and 23% are Independent.   

This is an older and more religious online voter segment driven by concepts of safety, respect, and maintaining traditions. 

Notably, 37% of this audience voted for Biden in 2020. This is not solely a Republican audience, and campaigns running persuasive tactics around domestic energy in 2023 should understand that. 

personal values energy and oil production policy

(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, December 2022)


The above voter audiences, and thousands of others, can be built quickly and scaled to the local level for deep analysis and precision targeting. What issues do you need to win next year? Contact Resonate today to access unrivaled insights and audiences built for advocacy campaigns. 

Categorized as: Blog Page, Politics & Advocacy

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