• Colibri Collective

Political Marketing Forecast: 2022 Midterm Elections

Updated: Jan 25


As political marketers, the midterm elections are a priority event. We’ve kept a keen eye on the political landscape and we’re prepared for the year ahead. Here’s a peek into our notes so you can check out the trends we’re watching.


The Biggest Impacts From 2021

Voter Suppression

A wave of bills restricting voting rights surged through state legislatures last year. As of the end of 2021, 19 states had passed dozens of laws that make the process of voting more difficult. In terms of good news, several states introduced legislation that expands early voting opportunities and makes voting by mail easier. With federal voting rights legislation failing multiple times, it’s critical to educate voters on how the new legislation affects them.

Chart from the US Census bureau showing the popularity of nontraditional voting, such as voting by mail or voting early. The chart shows a gradual increase from 1996 to 2016, with a sharp increase in 2020.

QR Codes

Ever wonder how these little black-and-white squares went unappreciated for so long? In 2021, we saw QR codes pop up on all sorts of collateral from t-shirts to posters, brochures, and stickers. With their inherent convenience, we don’t see QR codes fading from the limelight any time soon.

Photo of someone scanning the QR code from a paper that another person is holding.

Redistricting

After the 2020 Census, redistricting commenced across the country. For many states, it was a turbulent process with courtroom interventions. As the dust settles, we can now begin to assess the impact of legislative and congressional lines shifting. Incumbents, who are normally expected to have a relatively easy reelection, may face instability in their new districts.

(Check out our podcast on redistricting in Arizona!)

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Supply Chain Shortages Affect Direct Mail

It seems like almost every inconvenience last year could be linked back to the supply chain. But when it comes to paper, the supply chain has become a looming threat that can’t be ignored. Between wood pulp shortages, labor shortages, and other theories economists are floating, the industry of paper production is most definitely struggling. Direct mail, which has become increasingly omnipresent in election seasons, will certainly be impacted.

Picture of a mailbox wall unit stuffed with papers.

What to Expect From 2022

Economy as a Focal Point

Remember that labor and supply shortage we mentioned? It all comes back to the economy being front of mind for many Americans. According to a recent study from Long Island University’s Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis, 27% of voters care most about the economy. Other topics like coronavirus, healthcare, national security, and climate change rank lower among Americans’ priorities. However, it’s worth noting that when we narrow the sample to Democrats specifically, the economy closely follows coronavirus as a topic of concern.

Chart from Long Island University that shows what issue matters most to voters for the 2022 midterm elections.

Trump’s Endorsements

Endorsements are a balance of political clout: the more you give, the less important your endorsement might seem. But that’s not slowing down former President Donald Trump. He’s endorsed candidates for positions all over the ballot, from state to congressional and even hyper-local roles, like mayor of the town of Hialeah, Florida. It’s yet to be seen whether those endorsements will hold sway with enough voters to turn the tides of an election.

Trump rally.

Facebook’s Political Ban Returns

In November of 2021, Facebook parent company Meta announced that the social media platform would be significantly limiting its political advertising capabilities. The limitations would apply to all of Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. These targeting limitations are harsh, but perhaps not as complete as the platform’s political ad ban of 2020. The restrictions apply only to targeting, so advertisers like ourselves are finding creative ways to pivot.

Image of someone holding a phone, with the Facebook login screen.

Final Notes

The 2022 election season is coming. With recent voting rights legislation, anti-choice cases coming before the Supreme Court, and continued acts of violence against BIPOC communities, politics are more personal than ever before. The midterm elections have the potential to sway the legislation we’ll see over the next two years. The Colibri Collective is ready to get to work.



 

References

(Jan 2022). “Voting Laws Roundup: December 2021.” Brennan Center. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-december-2021


Grady, C. (Oct 2021). “The great book shortage of 2021, explained.” Vox. https://www.vox.com/culture/22687960/book-shortage-paper-ink-printing-labor-explained


Long Island University. (Sep 2021). “What Issues Matter Most To Voters in 2022 U.S. Mid-Term Elections: Long Island University Hornstein Center National Poll.” Cision PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/what-issues-matter-most-to-voters-in-2022-us-mid-term-elections-long-island-university-hornstein-center-national-poll-301378814.html


Bennett, B. (Nov 2021). “Mayors, Borough Bosses and Land Commissioners: Why Donald Trump Is Making Extremely Local Endorsements.” https://time.com/6123429/donald-trump-local-endorsements/


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