“We’re now at the point were both parties have figured out that social pressure is key in any successful turnout program. Some may have forgotten by now, but Ted Cruz’s presidential primary campaign was easily the most aggressive example of using social pressure to drive turnout in recent memory. To wit, the campaign industry and the public took notice of their mailers that resembled fines for not voting enough.
Social pressure was an important part of Bernie Sanders’ turnout program as well. But we found it was even more effective when combined with another message strategy: Empowerment.
It was Sanders’ message of empowerment, to be able to work together and fix what most of us recognize as major problems in this country, which was so effective. This broader theme was a part of all communications from the campaign, especially in fundraising or field efforts.
Whether it was climate change, rising healthcare costs or the debilitating debt we are saddling our students with, his message was clear. If we vote together, we can fix this together. Not just with one election, but with a movement that would demand more, election after election.”