In the 2022 midterms, campaigns that used Resonate’s AI-driven voter analysis and targeting, specifically clients that deployed issue-based and values-driven insights, won their races at a 77% rate. Campaigns that only deployed surface-level insights like party affiliation and basic demographics yielded a 59% win rate. That’s a big difference in win percentage, and the path to victory becomes clear if you break down the methods.
2022 was an emotional election that required human connection.
Last year’s election was indeed an emotional one: The information from the January 6 commission and ongoing trials of participants kept the trauma of that day fresh, threats of nuclear war made the nightly news, one of the most emotional Supreme Court cases in history got tossed out, and fuel and food prices challenged everyday Americans’ quality of life. Issue-based voting – the concept of voting not by tribalism but by one’s personal values – dictated major elections across the country. Resonate clients were better positioned to win in this type of environment. But how, exactly?
Why didn’t traditional research and targeting techniques work?
Campaigns that only use traditional research and targeting strategies, like modeled voter file insights (e.g. party affiliation, household demographics, commercial data), were significantly disadvantaged in an environment that demanded substantive conversation around the issues and 1:1 connections between candidates and voters.
However, even if campaigns were only using party affiliation to target voters, there still would have been some serious misconnections and accuracy challenges.
Consider that only about half of the states collect a voter’s party preference. So for the other half, firms have to rely on additional data sources to try and make accurate predictions about a voter’s political party. Resonate tested those files to determine if campaigns were using good data – they weren’t. Our data showed that millions of voters on the voter file self-reported as a member of the opposite party!
Another thing to consider is that the voter file is at the household level rather than at the individual level (like an email address or some other unique ID). That means that when the household data is onboarded to match against online users, the match rate is only about 40%. That creates a tough challenge if you’re competing for 51% of the vote…
Hypothetically, even if voter files made accurate predictions about the basic insights on every single voter, and the file matched 100% when onboarded online, campaigns that solely leaned on this data would still be at a major competitive disadvantage. This basic data can’t let you see what matters most to individual voters and the 1-3 issues that matter most to them or the life stages, values and motivations that are responsible for informing those positions.
The Resonate difference in the 2022 midterms
At Resonate, our AI-driven models tracked 90% of the entire electorate online based on the actual policy positions and values informing candidate choices – often irrespective of political party affiliations.
Our models are updated nightly thanks to machine-learning algorithms that process the billions of Web events of individual voters. It then models those events to accurately predict survey responses across thousands of political and policy questions. These insights informed targeting and messaging that produced a win rate nearly 20% higher than campaigns operating without them.
How can these strategies propel policy victories in 2023?
Resonate’s models continue to update individual voter profiles – across 90% of the electorate online – based on the issues that will be most vigorously debated and legislated in 2023.
For example, energy production and climate change is one of the most emotional and pressing issues that voters demand their leaders take action on. The advocates on both sides of the issue are no longer your “status quo” voter personas (the hippy, the oil exec, etc.). The issue cuts across the entire spectrum and provides a unique opportunity for campaigns to persuade and win unlikely advocates. Below is just one example:
Climate Change Republicans
The Resonate platform has modeled and is tracking more than 11 million Republicans who are most passionate about reducing climate change in 2023.
(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, January 2023)
Compared to your average Republican, these Republican climate-change advocates are driven by their love of nature, creativity, expressing individuality and living an active life full of adventure and excitement.
(Source: Resonate Ignite Platform, January 2023)
In a divided Congress, these Republicans are most likely to support politicians based on their bipartisanship leadership (a major hurdle to accomplishing real action on climate change). Compared to other Republican voters, this audience sees Trump and environmental challenges as the top threats facing the country today.
The above audience is just one of thousands of policy-focused audiences that campaigns can build and activate instantly using Resonate data.
On the other side, we can see the Democrats and Biden voters who are most passionate about traditional energy sources. Curious to know who they are? We’ll tell you all about it in Part 2, coming soon! In the meantime, Resonate’s expert team of campaign strategists are available to help you identify, analyze, and activate these audiences immediately across all digital channels to gain support for your cause. Schedule a consultation to learn more.