As concerns about the safety of in-person voting have grown due to Donald Trump’s inability to control the coronavirus, voters are showing an increased interest in voting by mail. In a recent survey, Priorities asked battleground state voters how they typically cast their ballots in previous elections. A majority — 56% — reported that they usually voted on Election Day in past elections, while another 16% said that they voted early and 24% said they voted absentee or by mail. However, when asked how they prefer to vote in 2020, the number of voters who said they planned to vote in person on Election Day dropped to 41%, while 16% said they plan to vote early and 42% said they planned to vote absentee or by mail.
In response to heightened interest in vote by mail, Priorities USA Action is releasing a series of ads, prioritizing spending in September, specifically focused on driving voters to request their ballot months ahead of Election Day to ensure that their ballots arrive early. In partnership with Senate Majority PAC, Priorities will run a $7.5 million ad campaign in seven states key to both winning the presidency and flipping the Senate: Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The campaign will focus on reaching voters of color who have only voted in person or who are new voters.
This program is part of a $24 million investment from Priorities focused on mobilizing and persuading voters of color. Priorities and Senate Majority PAC will also run a concurrent mobilization and “ballot chase” digital ad campaign to drive up voter enthusiasm and encourage voters to vote or drop off their ballot early.
The targeted audience consists of both people who have only ever voted in person since 2012 and new voters. In presidential battleground states, the online VBM programs will specifically serve voters of color. The ads will focus mainly on taking voters through the step-by-step process of requesting a mail-in ballot in their state online, with an additional focus on educating those who have never voted by mail before on why it is a safe and secure way to vote. The buy will run mostly on Facebook and Instagram, along with targeting banners and native placements, plus Google search, to capture those who are searching for information on how to vote by mail.
“Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus and continued campaign of misinformation about the security of our elections has created unprecedented challenges for millions of Americans to access the ballot in November. Priorities is investing our resources into ensuring that voters have their voices heard, even if they can’t leave their house,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “Donald Trump knows that voters are fed up with his failed leadership and he’s doing everything he can to avoid being held accountable in November. We won’t let him get away with it.”
“Donald Trump and Republicans will stop at nothing to keep Americans from voting by mail this November, even if it means putting their health and safety at risk during a global pandemic,” said J.B. Poersch, President of Senate Majority PAC. “We are laser-focused on flipping the U.S. Senate and ousting Donald Trump’s worst Republican enablers who have failed the leadership test time and time again. Our new campaign will counter Donald Trump’s dangerous attacks and give voters in key battleground states the tools they need to vote safely this November.”
Examples of social media graphics can be seen here:
Dump Trump: When we all vote, they lose. Donald Trump and Republicans are afraid. They know if we vote, they’ll lose. Don’t let them stop you from being heard. Sign up to vote by mail.
Stop the spread: Do your part to stop the spread. Protect your community from the coronavirus and Trump while voting safely at home. Sign up to vote by mail.
Everyone’s doing it: Vote when you want, and how you want. Vote by mail. Thousands have already registered to vote by mail, and our community needs your help too.
Momentum: We have momentum on our side. Together, we can defeat Trump. Thousands have already registered to vote by mail, and our community needs your help too. Sign up to vote by mail.
Logistical: Ads that simply highlight what voting by mail is and encourage folks to vote early and return ballots in the mail or in person.