Founded in March 2016, #VOTEPROCHOICE mobilizes the nation’s pro-choice majority to elect champions who protect and expand reproductive freedom at every level of government. Their digital-first tools have engaged more than 50+ million pro-choice voters and helped elect hundreds of pro-choice champion candidates.
According to Pew Research, 61% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. A majority of voters support abortion access and candidates who will protect it, but it can be difficult for voters to determine which candidates in local races have the power to protect abortion — let alone the views of all those local candidates. District attorneys, sheriffs, judges, and state legislators hold considerable sway over the laws and policies governing abortion access.
In 2020, #VOTEPROCHOICE wanted to identify and turn out pro-choice voters in battleground states like Georgia, Texas, Michigan, and Ohio to vote for pro-abortion candidates in local races.
#VOTEPROCHOICE wanted to educate voters about the races that mattered for abortion access and mobilize voters to support local pro-choice candidates. The organization partnered with TextOut to run a two-part texting program to both identify pro-choice voters across the country early in the cycle and then mobilize them when it was time to vote.
#VOTEPROCHOICE chose to use TextOut Turnkey, a full-service texting package that includes a dedicated team to run the texting programs. We worked closely to write texting scripts and create a sequence based on organizational goals.
Phase One: Deep ID
TextOut conducted a survey using a Deep ID strategy to better understand voter attitudes about abortion. Our team reached out to registered voters via text with neutral messaging to gather respondents' honest responses about abortion. As we engaged voters in conversations about abortion, we gathered in-depth insights — including how pro-choice voters felt about restrictions to abortion and how anti-abortion voters felt about exceptions to abortion restrictions.
The survey included voters often excluded from outreach, including people with a low propensity to vote and who had less information in the voter file.
We used insights from the survey to assign a score of 1-5 to each voter, with a score of one meaning the most pro-choice (abortion should be available in all cases) and five being the most anti-abortion (abortion should be completely banned). All voters with a score of 5 were removed from our list, and all other voters were targeted for outreach in phase 2 of the program. We also asked respondents how important a candidate’s views on abortion were when determining whether or not they would vote for that candidate.
A key part of the Deep ID program was the data tagging feature of TextOut. Because we used the precise questions to quantify each person’s views on choice and then added that data to their record, our get out the vote (GOTV) outreach was incredibly accurate for predicting voter motivation about abortion. Our model for reproductive choice was even more accurate than many industry standard data sets.
Phase Two: GOTV
TextOut and #VOTEPROCHOICE used the data from phase 1 to contact voters, with focus on those most likely to support pro-choice candidates. As early voting started in our key states, we contacted voters about races in their local communities, including those for district attorneys, sheriffs, judges, and state legislators.
In our conversations with voters, we shared personalized voter guides created by #VOTEPROCHOICE. The guides included information on pro-choice candidates that voters would see on their ballots and information about finding their polling place.
For example, in Georgia we highlighted candidates like Fani Willis, who won her race for Fulton County District Attorney, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams, who won a seat in Georgia State Senate before getting elected to Congress in a special election in 2020.
As part of our partnership with #VOTEPROCHOICE, we also texted additional voters in 2020 and 2021 we hadn’t previously identified as part of Deep ID, but fit the profile of a potential pro-choice voter.
In partnership with #VOTEPROCHOICE in 2020 and 2021, TextOut sent more than 4.9 million texts to potential voters in 16 states, which helped more than 18 pro-choice candidates win races across the country.
Voters are motivated by their values. Given resources and focused communication, these voters will show up and make the difference in elections. Programs like these help win local and state races, where the outcomes can change policy and affect people’s lives.
As a result of our work, we continued to partner with #VOTEPROCHOICE during the 2022 cycle to reach voters in Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina.
By the Numbers
4,954,951 texts sent in 2020 and 2021
Voters contacted in 16 states
2,804,025 unique voters contacted in 2020 and 2021