Case Study

Inspiring Generational Voter Turnout


A technology-based, non-profit organization was tasked with the objective of increasing voting participation rates during national elections, with a focus on midterm (non-presidential) election years.

Understanding the power that media and communication possess to help drive the general public to the polls, message frames were developed to understand which communication strategy would inspire voter turnout.

This client turned to C+R Research to develop a quantitative message test to help the team understand which communication strategy would be most inspirational to the general public, and if that differed by generation.


Finding a Universal Communication Strategy that Inspires Across Generations

With lower voting participation during non-presidential elections, the urgency in the message to get out and vote is critical to increase voting rates.

However, when it comes to voting, this non-profit organization knows that generational behaviors drive key differences in how these voters approach the task.

In preparation for the upcoming midterm election, the team wanted to understand which communication strategy is most compelling for each generation, including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers. The team also wanted to identify the key differences in voting behaviors across generations.


Understand Past Voting Behaviors, but Focus on What Motivates Moving Forward

To get an understanding of how the general public has voted before and how that differs by generation, C+R created a demographically representative sampling plan, both overall across the general public, as well as demographically representative within each generation.

A quantitative survey was developed to understand their past voting behaviors and preferences, as well as reactions to future communication strategies. Going beyond their initial reactions to each communication strategy, we were able to identify the type of person each strategy would inspire to vote.

The result

Tailoring Communication to What Matters Most

Through this quantitative survey, we were able to evaluate which communication strategy resonated with the general voter. And given the sample plan, we were able to understand nuances between generations – and if they differed, what was driving those differences.

And in addition to the overall communication strategy, we were able to understand how voters have voted in the past, and their preferences for voting in the future. This helped tailor voting logistics strategies for each generation going forward.

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