Using Experiments to Improve Progressive Hispanic Voter Registration

Jul 1, 2010
This was an ambitious project. By bringing together leading organizations from different areas of the progressive movement, The Atlantic Philanthropies sought to address a gaping need for progressives: how can we be more effective at progressive Hispanic voter registration? With over 12 randomized controlled experiments, across different modes of voter registration, this research project has yielded several useful results, and quite a few unexpected ones. Many of these results involved collaborations between the groups involved in this project: Campaign for Community Change, Democracia Ahora, Rock The Vote Action Fund, and Women's Voices. Women Vote Action Fund. This spirit of cooperation was critical to the success of this project, as each group contributed its own unique strengths and expertise to the broad portfolio of projects.
  • Procedures for improving data quality are always important, especially so for Hispanics.
  • Automated calls were as effective as live calls for pre-treatments.
  • Neutral messaging worked best for emailing people who already have a relationship with an organization.
  • No tested email message was effective when targeting individuals who did not have a prior relationship with the sending organization.
  • Neutral messaging on the web, unlike with direct mail and email, was not the most effective messaging for banner ads.
  • Celebrity endorsed banner ads worked best, and the specific details mattered.
  • Appealing to Hispanic identity increased clickthroughs relative to appealing to American identity, especially when a Hispanic celebrity was a part of the banner ad.
  • C(4) messaging created more net Democratic registrations per hour
  • C(4) messaging did not create more net progressive registrations per hour
  • Area focused canvassing is much more efficient than individual focused canvass.
  • Mail and canvassing complemented each other; this finding is in addition to previous experimental results showing that multi-sourced mail can be highly cost effective on its own.
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