Nathaniel Stinnett, founder and CEO of the Environmental Voter Project spoke with Rachel’s Action Network members on April 12 about voter trends and what groups are doing to give environmental issues greater political prominence.
Nathaniel shared polling research that shows the environmental movement doesn’t have a “persuasion” problem; instead, there is a “turnout” problem. The lack of voter demand for environmental leadership is detrimental. Even when environmental champions are elected, they are less compelled to spend political capital on the environment without broad public support.
Big Data: Using public records, consumer data points and predictive modelling, the Environmental Voter Project has identified over 15 million environmentalists who don’t vote.
Voter Mobilization: Once these non-voters are identified, the Environmental Voter Project persuades them to vote using techniques such as canvassing, phone banks, direct mail, and digital ads. The ask is positive, and focused on getting people to turnout. Stinnett’s team does not talk about specific issues or candidates.
Nathaniel emphasized that rather than focusing solely on winning elections, this is a tool to change the electorate over the long-term.
Advances in technology since the last election are making it possible to identify non-voters and broaden the electorate to be more reflective of what America believes. Although there are millions of non-voters in America, Nathaniel is optimistic: it is much easier to change a person’s habit than their belief.