Campaigns may have lost their most effective — and annoying — outreach tool

“Text messaging — with their markedly high “open rates” — is an especially potent form of political outreach: Since 2016, texting has become one of the most appealing ways for campaigns to engage voters or supporters, especially as so many have ditched their landlines.

But as part of a broader effort to crack down on the fast-growing problem of spam calls and texts, mobile carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have been rolling out a new policy that affects any business, nonprofit, union, or campaign that intends to send at least 3,000 messages per day.

It means that political campaigns and advocacy groups have fewer rights to text you, if you haven’t affirmatively opted in to receive the messages — and it’s causing distress among those groups ahead of the midterms.

The changes — known as “10DLC” for the 10-digit long codes that high-volume businesses and apps use to text local numbers — will require organizations to register with the Campaign Registry, a subsidiary of the Milan-based communications firm Kaleyra. Carriers will impose higher messaging fees and slower delivery rates for any group that fails to register, and in some cases block them from delivering messages altogether.

Every registered group must also limit their texts only to users who have opted-in to receive them, a massive change from the status quo. Progressive groups warn this new requirement will yield dire democratic consequences — particularly for the most marginalized who are typically ignored by elites and politicians. Others suggest these groups have grown too reliant on unsolicited texting, and that it’s not essential to successful mobilization.”

Where The Midterms Could Most Affect Abortion Access

“Since the Dobbs decision, Wisconsin clinics have been proceeding as if abortion is now illegal in the state based on an 1849 law banning the procedure, except to save the life of the mother. However, state Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, has said he won’t enforce the ban, and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers promised to pardon any doctors convicted of performing an abortion. In fact, on Tuesday, Evers and Kaul announced a legal challenge to the 1849 ban. (Evers has also said he is considering executive action that would limit local prosecutors’ ability to enforce the law.)

But Kaul and Evers could both lose reelection in 2022. Evers’s loss would be especially consequential: Not only might doctors once again face jail time for performing abortions if the 1849 ban is determined to be operative, but also, if it is not, a Republican governor could join forces with the Republican-led legislature to pass a modern abortion ban. The opposite situation — Democrats winning the legislature and working with Evers to enact new abortion protections — is pretty much off the table, though. Wisconsin’s state-legislative maps are heavily biased toward the GOP, so Democrats do not have a realistic shot at winning either chamber.”

At Least 120 Republican Nominees Deny The Results Of The 2020 Election

“Since the 2020 election, millions of Republican voters have accepted former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the presidential election was stolen from him. And now, here in 2022, many Republican politicians have capitalized on this lie and have won elections of their own.

This election cycle, FiveThirtyEight is tracking the views of every Republican candidate for Senate, House, governor, attorney general and secretary of state on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And now that we’re halfway through the primary season, we can say definitively that at least 120 election deniers have won their party’s nomination and will be on the ballot in the fall.”

Pollsters prepare for major changes after presidential election misses

“Pollsters are increasingly embracing new methods in the run-up to the 2022 midterms after notable misses in recent races. Front of mind is the looming 2024 election cycle, when former President Donald Trump — whose support among the electorate has bedeviled pollsters trying to measure it for the past seven years, including missing low on Trump’s vote before his 2016 win and underestimating the closeness of his 2020 loss — could be on the ballot for the third consecutive presidential election.”

“Increasingly, pollsters across the field favor combining multiple methods of contact in the same poll, seeking to include the hardest-to-reach Americans.”

“It’s already happening across the board. After ending their more-than-30-year partnership with NBC News after the 2020 election, the Wall Street Journal’s new poll — a cooperative effort between the pollsters for both Trump and President Joe Biden — reaches a quarter of its respondents via text message. The technique, called “text-to-web,” sends a link to an internet survey, and those interviews are added to others conducted by voice over landlines and cell phones.
Over the past year, CNN’s polling has spanned a wide range of methods. Conducted both over the phone and the internet, some polls are conducted from respondents who have joined a panel maintained by SSRS, the Pennsylvania-based company that conducts polls for CNN and other outlets. But the samples for two other CNN polls — one earlier this year and one in the summer of 2021 — were obtained by mailing solicitations to people at home and asking them to participate, either on the phone or the web.

Prior to last summer, all of CNN’s national polling had been conducted by phone.

Large media outlets have experimented with emerging methodologies before. CBS News and The New York Times did some of the first major media polling over the internet in 2014.”

“as Americans become increasingly more difficult to reach, traditional methods are becoming more untenable.

“These things are only getting harder,” said one pollster who was granted anonymity to offer a candid assessment of the state of the industry. “So if you’re just doing the same thing, it’s only going to get worse.”

The innovations are not limited to sampling and data collection. But devising new weighting parameters — ways to adjust the results to better reflect the electorate — is more difficult. That’s because one of the main culprits of the 2020 election miss appears to be people who don’t respond to polls — so-called “nonresponse bias.” Voters in that group were more likely to support Trump, which made it harder for polls to reflect the true measure of his support.”

“some of the new proposals include weighting data to some social benchmarks, like the percentage of people who know and talk to their neighbors, or who volunteer in their community. Others suggest asking whether people trust media or polling in order to determine if their sample is too establishment-friendly.

The implementation of new methods is also happening at the campaign level, though to a lesser degree. Campaign pollsters — whose jobs involve giving candidates and outside groups strategic advice more than simply measuring the horse race — are dipping their toes tentatively into less-familiar waters.

In general, Democratic firms — many of which banded together after the 2020 election to study went wrong — are more open to experimentation.”

Everything You Need To Know About the Special Election In Alaska

“the primary is plenty interesting on its own. First of all, it will winnow a field of 48 candidates(!) down to four. Why four and not two? Because following the passage of an election-reform ballot measure in 2020, Alaska now uses a unique top-four primary system whereby all candidates (regardless of party) run on the same ballot and the top four finishers advance to the general election. (In a further twist, the general election will also use ranked-choice voting.) “