In the 2022 midterms, we partnered with Priorities on a field experiment designed to answer two questions:
- What is the impact of persuasion messaging on turnout?
- More broadly, what is the impact of digital advertising on Latino voters?
Equis has long advocated for more persuasion to Latino voters — not just for traditional persuasion targets, but for Latinos who have been historically under-engaged or mis-engaged by campaigns and organizations. We have also been strong advocates for more and better digital Latino programs. But there is not much current research on the effects of digital advertising on Latinos specifically, and there is even less research on the impact of persuasion messaging on turnout.
To answer these questions, we worked with the digital experts at Priorities to design and execute a series of experiments — two panel tests and an in-field randomized controlled trial (RCT). The panel test results were used to inform the creative strategy for the field program. The program ran in English and Spanish on YouTube and programmatic CTV and included three treatment groups:
- 8 weeks of mobilization
- 4 weeks of mobilization
- 4 weeks of persuasion followed by 4 weeks of mobilization
The full deck with program details and results is HERE. Some takeaways and program recommendations are below.
Overall, we found that the program significantly increased turnout (+1.2pp) among voters in our treatment zip codes. For context, other digital turnout field experiments often see no effects, like this experiment from 2012 and this more recent one from 2020.
Both 8-week programs significantly increased turnout, and there is also strong evidence of increased turnout for the 4-week mobilization treatment.
When we compare just the 8-week treatments, we find that both treatments increased turnout at similar rates.
Recommendations for Implementation
- Add persuasion to your Latino mobilization programs. We continue to see evidence for the need for BOTH persuasion and mobilization. Latino persuasion and mobilization targets are hard to distinguish from one another. And the results of this test tell us that persuasion and mobilization combined increase turnout just as much as mobilization alone. So adding persuasion to your mobilization programs (1) ensures we reach Latinos who need persuasion with the right messaging, regardless of whether or not current data tools indicate they’re a “persuasion target” and (2) won’t have any negative or decreased effects on turnout.
- Increase investment in digital advertising to Latino voters. The data from this program proves that strategic digital ad programs are incredibly effective with Latino audiences. For specific recommendations and best practices for Latino digital programs, feel free to reach out to the Equis and Priorities teams.
To access the full deck, click here.
For other Priorities resources, you can visit priorities.org.