The 2020 US election was anticipated as the most consequential in US history. The Capitol insurrection attempt on January 6th and subsequent GOP efforts to minimize the seriousness of the event while continuing to undermine the legitimacy of the election suggests that the ’22 midterms could surpass the importance of the 2020 elections. With these stakes in mind, we begin to focus on the electoral landscape for 2022, identifying decisive voting blocs. We begin with a group poised to have an outsized impact on the outcome of these critical elections: young Americans.

When considering the potential impact of young voters…


At the outset of this pandemic, it was unclear as to how our damaged voting systems could adapt to this historic challenge and allow Americans to participate safely in this election. Many expected that voter the pandemic would depress voter turnout.

In the end, this country set a record for voter participation, thanks to a number of factors, not least among them the largest expansion in ballot access in the history of this country.

Yet as we consider the future, many in the Republican party are already working to rollback of many of these advances, as they view expanded participation…


Historic Surges in Turnout Among Voters of Color and Young Voters Deliver the Peach State for Biden

As the hand recount in Georgia continues, and it appears almost certain that Joe Biden’s lead of close to 14,000 votes will hold up, we turn our focus to gaining a better understanding of how the state flipped blue for the first time in almost 3 decades. We now have the complete, individual level history of who cast a ballot in this election, so we are able to assess how the composition of the electorate likely played a role.

The Most Diverse Electorate…


An Assessment of the AAPI Vote in the 2020 Presidential Election

As the last remaining votes of the 2020 general election are counted and the legal challenges continue, we’ve begun the work of digging through the available data to better understand what happened. This work will continue for the next several weeks, as states report the individual level history of who participated in this election. In the meantime, we have a robust dataset from which we can begin to draw conclusions, in the over 100 million Americans who cast a ballot before Election Day.

From this dataset emerges perhaps one…


On September 18th, voting will begin in the 2020 general election. On that date, a few states will allow voters to begin casting their ballots. From that point onward, more and more states will open early and mail balloting. Every single state and the District of Columbia will afford some number of voters the opportunity to vote before Election Day, most of them significantly expanding access to these opportunities relative to prior elections. This will have a profound effect on our ability to report on the composition of the electorate, well before Election Day, as well as our ability to…


By Tom Bonier

As Joe Biden prepares to address the nation as the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump is attempting to steal the spotlight with his own speech outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s no surprise the Trump campaign chose this location. Pennsylvania is a must win state for the President. He won there in ’16 by a razor-thin .71% margin. Only Michigan produced a narrower GOP margin.

The trends in Pennsylvania since Trump’s victory have not been favorable for the GOP, as reflected in the lack of a credible poll showing the President with a lead in the state. …


A new TargetSmart analysis reveals a shift toward a younger and more diverse electorate in Arizona, solidifying its status as an emergent swing state ahead of the 2020 election. The analysis finds that more than a third of voters of color were under 24 years old, suggesting the potential for long-term power at the polls from young voters and people of color. This demographic shift spells trouble for the GOP which historically relies on strong support from white voters in Arizona and other swing states.

In 2018, Kyrsten Sinema was able to capitalize on the shifting demographics of the state…


Following an electrifying Senate race where Beto O’Rourke’s campaign nearly claimed Ted Cruz’s Senate seat, an energized youth vote may spell trouble for Donald Trump, John Cornyn, and vulnerable House Republicans in 2020. A new Quinnipiac poll lends credence to this possibility, revealing a virtual polling tie between Trump and leading Democratic contenders including Beto O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders in hypothetical head-to-head matches.

A new TargetSmart analysis shows that an electoral shift in the 2018 midterm elections, powered by a surge in youth vote participation, may play a role in turning the tables in…


Winners did everything right, while losers stumbled across the finish line, right? There’s a counterproductive tendency in the world of political operatives to believe that winning campaigns did no wrong, while losing campaigns were riddled with mistakes. In reality, campaign tactics, tools, and technology operate in the margins, and many of the smartest campaigns will end in defeat, and other campaigns will end in victory despite making missteps.

To that end, the 2016 presidential campaign saw the emergence of a new conventional wisdom: Democrats, who were widely believed to possess a significant advantage over Republicans in the area of data…


It’s been nearly a month since a historic blue wave swept across the country, a midterm election that saw Democrats pick up at least 40 seats in the House plus 7 governor’s seats, in addition to hundreds of state legislative seats nationwide. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, fell just short, but a new analysis of TargetSmart data shows that Abrams was able to change the electorate and illuminate a potential path to victory in future elections.

We knew the youth vote was surging in Georgia from the early vote, but with the full individual vote history…

Tom Bonier

CEO @TargetSmart, https://targetsmart.com/, Adjunct Lecturer @ Howard University, Formerly @ClarityCampaigns and @NCEC1948

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