We Turned Out Surge Voters

MoveOn created the largest relational volunteer mobilization program of the midterms that harnessed the power of relationships, behavioral psychology, and culture to engage surge voters – who are sometimes called low-propensity voters – to turn out to vote for Democrats.

surge voter panel

Data and evidence were at the core of MoveOn’s election program.

MoveOn built and regularly surveyed a one-of-a-kind, diverse panel of surge voters in battleground states to identify the messages that were most likely to resonate with them on an individual level to increase turnout and their support for Democrats.

We used the findings from this panel to inform our dozen digital ad buys and create statistical models of voters to microtarget ads and maximize their impact in battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

We reached 4.3 million surge voters

who were registered to vote in our target states through microtargeted ads.

This innovation allowed us to be more specific in our targeting and identified trends regarding the impact of specific content and visuals. We will continue our work to further validate our modeling and impact on voter turnout as new voter file data is released.

Relational Organizing: Vote Tripling

We helped 80,000 MoveOn members triple their vote, resulting in 240,000 surge voters who might not have voted otherwise to turn out to vote in key battleground states.

Studies show that the most effective way to cut through the noise of an election cycle and reach the voters who matter most is to recruit, train, and remind volunteers to take responsibility for turning out three or more people they know personally—their friends, family, coworkers, classmates—to vote.

We recruited 80,000 vote triplers to get three people to vote through tactics including polling place vote tripling, peer-to-peer texting, and phonebanking.

Poll Place Vote Tripling

840 volunteers canvassed polling locations in key battleground states, connecting at the polls with 27,000 voters who ultimately tripled their vote by reaching 81,000 voters in swing states.

Asking people to triple their vote once they exit their polling place is one of the most effective turnout tactics that volunteers can engage in. On-the-ground volunteers joined MoveOn’s organizing fellows in recruiting vote triplers at battleground state polling precincts.

vote tripling by phone

We built a massive phone bank operation, and MoveOn members everywhere called surge voters in target states to vote triple this cycle. To boost enthusiasm for the midterms, celebrities Rosario Dawson, Ilana Glazer, and Mark Ruffalo hosted and participated in phonebanking events with our members this cycle.







vote tripling by peer-to-peer texting

We sent 49 million text messages to voters across the country:


Vote tripling to increase turnout


Text every Democrat to build our base


Volunteer recruitment


This cycle, MoveOn engaged surge voters using art, culture, celebrities, and micro-influencers as an entrypoint to voting and vote tripling.

nail the vote

In addition to driving tried-and-true voter turnout tactics, MoveOn also ran culturally relevant campaigns designed to meet voters where they are through creative expression.

As part of our Nail the Vote campaign, we partnered with celebrities and micro-influencers, who showed off their voting-themed nail art on their social media to encourage their followers to vote. And MoveOn produced nail art merchandise so that anyone could participate!

Over 40 celebrities, micro-influencers, and nail artists participated in the Nail the Vote digital campaign, including Alicia Keys, Natasha Rothwell, and Jaime King.


Engaging Micro-influencers

While big celebs are able to break through crowded email inboxes, micro-influencers, those with followings under 5 million, have a closer relationship with their audiences and are a powerful force when mobilized.

MoveOn coordinated and deployed micro-influencers to organize their audiences to vote triple—by celebrating wins Democrats have delivered (such as student debt relief), highlighting the systemic attacks on abortion access, and sharing personal stories about why voting is important—reaching specific populations such as surge voters and engaging the broader base at scale.

These 128 micro-influencer videos collected over 3.3 million views, with over 600k engagements.