Our Annual Political Tech Landscape Report
Read our latest landscape report.

Landscape Report

HGL Team   /  

Higher Ground Labs is excited to unveil our 2020 Political Tech Landscape Report, a comprehensive account of the biggest political tech trends, opportunities, and learnings coming out of the historic 2020 election cycle.

Higher Ground Labs is excited to unveil our 2020 Political Tech Landscape Report, a comprehensive account of the biggest political tech trends, opportunities, and learnings coming out of the historic 2020 election cycle.

The HGL team has spent the past several months interviewing 50+ expert technologists and campaigners, analyzing federal political spending data, and reviewing the latest research. This year’s report is the first iteration coming out of a presidential cycle — and a pandemic that turned our world upside down. When we published our first landscape report three years ago, our goal was to facilitate ongoing, industry-wide documentation. That goal feels more important than ever, after an election cycle where practitioners and founders had to innovate using tech like never before. We hope this report will serve as critical institutional knowledge for our space, while celebrating the brilliance of political tech operatives during this unprecedented cycle.

The unique challenges that defined 2020 forced rapid change and adaptation in the political landscape. We were in a political battle for the soul of our nation and the survival of our democracy. Heartbreaking events led us to necessary national conversations about race and equity and mobilized activists across the ideological spectrum.  The COVID-19 pandemic brought the staggering loss of over 500,000 lives, unprecedented election administration challenges, and polarizing politicization of public safety protocols. All of these challenges drove new trends in political technology as well. 

Within the political technology space, digital adoption accelerated, regulatory challenges introduced new hurdles, the progressive movement rallied around new data systems, and some key tools increased Democratic voter share by the margin of victory. Political tech valuations reached historic highs as a post election acquisition spree re-shaped the tech landscape. Our 2020 report captures the impact of these dynamics on the electoral cycle and more through a comprehensive, mixed-methods approach. In total, tech spending for Dems reached a record high of $3.6 billion in 2020. Higher Ground Labs is optimistic about the role of technology in politics. We hope this report can serve as a tool to help direct funding, attention and scrutiny to areas of promise and continued need.

As always, this report is a living document — please get in touch with ideas, updates or comments. View our full report here, and thanks for reading.

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