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Our portfolio’s impact in the 2022 midterms

We are just a few days out from the 2022 midterm elections. Campaigners and activists have been organizing toward this moment for many months, and in many cases, years. Regardless of the outcome on November 8th, one thing that’s certain is the campaigning impact and innovation value created from this cycle. This article is dedicated to highlighting several Higher Ground Labs portfolio companies and partners who are on the ground, advancing our democracy forward. 

Our portfolio’s impact

Change Research (HGL2) partnered with Teen Vogue to bring you the Midterms Vibe Check, a survey of registered voters under 35 on the direction of the country. They recently found that recent Democratic achievements were popular on paper with young voters, but many were unaware of the legislation that had been passed or wished the Democrats would do more. They discussed key voting issues like abortion rights, as well as young people’s disinterest in dating across the aisle.

BallotReady (HGL1) is powering voting efforts for major brands like Levi’sPatagonia, and more. They are also helping Snap users run for office and register to vote, and supporting singles on Tinder to be informed voters through an in-app Election Center.

Tinder’s Election Center, powered by BallotReady. Photo credit: Tinder Newsroom.

Impactive (HGL3) supported Headcount’s Good to Vote sweepstakes programs, working with artists, influencers, brands, and cultural leaders ranging from Billie Eilish to Stephen Colbert to hold fun contests that ensure everyone is prepared to vote in 2022. At a recent Harry Styles concert, 70,000 people went through the voter registration flow in 3 hours — 70% of which converted. That campaign ultimately reached 100,000 people.

INTRVL (HGL5) has been busy in the lead-up to the midterms. They fielded an early poll for youth advocacy organization Up To Us in response to the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion overturning Roe, identifying subgroups who were most likely to be mobilized by the news. They found that by a 3:2 margin, the news would make younger adults more likely to vote for Democrats over Republicans and that nearly ⅓ of low-propensity young voters felt mobilized to vote.

Hovercast (2021 investment) produced several major fundraising livestreams for some of the biggest names in the business. This includes the Vote Save America music night with Questlove, Stacey Abrams, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Amy Schumer, Grace & Frankie live cast reunion with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for the Jane Fonda Climate PAC, and Veep & West Wing crossover event with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Martin Sheen. 

Veep + The West Wing crossover fundraiser event, presented by WisDems and powered by Hovercast. Photo credit: Hovercast.

Civitech (2020 investment) has been fuelling progressive registrations through their CampaignOS suite. Their technologies identified 26.1 million unregistered voters, 13.9 million of whom are unregistered known Democrats and 1.4 million are unregistered contactable college students. 

Grow Progress (HGL2) rapidly responded to Hurricane Fiona to test some resonant messaging that could mobilize people around climate change. They found that language that linked recent storms to climate change was clearly effective at increasing respondents’ sense of urgency on climate.

Avalanche (HGL2) fielded many pieces of deep research this cycle. A recent poll with Rise and Voto Latino unpacked “apathy or anxiety” voting sentiments amongst Latino youth. Capturing young voters’ attention are issues like the overturning of federal abortion rights, high gas prices, cancellation of some student debt, and federal action on climate change.

Community (2022 investment) now allows President Joe Biden and Michelle Obama to text with their supporters, allowing these leaders to reach their audience in smart and personalized ways. They have also been working with public figures like Kerry WashingtonMegan Rapinoe, and Rita Wilson to mobilize their squads to register to vote. 

Kerry Washington mobilizing her voting squad through her Community mobile number. Photo credit: Kerry Washington’s Twitter.

Swayable (HGL2) partnered with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to test hundreds of messages for targeted congressional districts across the country. On a weekly basis, they helped find out what scripts, mailers, ads, and more changed hearts and minds and mobilized folks to vote.

Universe (HGL4) is launching Campaign Academy in December 2022 to help local candidates learn how to run a campaign from scratch and remove obstacles for would-be leaders to run. An interactive masterclass in campaigning, participants can learn from experts, create a campaign plan, and train their teams with the help of this customizable course.

Follow along with our portfolio’s work through our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Shoutout to our partners

DigiDems and Blue Leadership Collaborative Fellows are addressing critical long-term infrastructure gaps in competitive races across the country. They’ve embedded 155 Digidems in 34 states this cycle, and 12 BLC state managers are working with efforts to flip or maintain majorities in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Illinois.

Bluebonnet Data’s Tech Fellows are volunteering their technical expertise for downballot campaigns across the country, with a focus on Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. 

Security researchers from The Good Catch (a security bug bounty program organized by Trestle Collaborative, Zinc Collective, and Higher Ground Labs) helped six major progressive organizations become more secure in advance of Election Day by reporting 110+ bugs that have been fixed and secured.

The Good Catch: a bug bounty program for 2022 campaigns.

Post-midterms jobs

There are 40+ political tech jobs open across the Higher Ground Labs network. View and apply to the 40+ jobs on the HGL Jobs Board

We’ll see you on the flip side! We are rooting for your success. 

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