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2022 Political Tech Landscape Report

This is Higher Ground Labs’ 2022 Political Tech Landscape Report. 

Every year, we track innovations and changes across the political tech space, recognizing the need to capture the developments in this fast-changing industry. This report focuses on the historic 2022 midterm cycle.

Voters showed up and showed out in the 2022 elections. Despite gloomy predictions from pundits, Democrats were bolstered by a better-than-predicted performance. Midterm turnout affirms the importance of long-term organizing in constituent communities and powerful mobilizing to counter ongoing conservative extremism.

Still recovering from a pandemic, campaigns and organizations continued to adapt to virtual and in-person techniques that produced historic contact records. Technology played an increasingly important role in supporting coordinated responses to attacks on democracy. The political tech ecosystem has reached a maturation point that brings an increasing need for improvements in data infrastructure and talent management. 

Read the full downloadable Landscape Report to explore the key political tech developments from 2022.

Our 2022 Landscape Report tracks developments within the political technology industry across six major categories: Media & Messaging, Data Analytics & Modeling, Research, Volunteer & Activist Mobilization and Voter Engagement, Fundraising, and Movement-Wide & Organizational Infrastructure. It highlights emerging trends as well as areas of need and opportunity.  

Note: Our annual landscape map is a collective, co-created documentation of our evolving space. Please use this form to contribute updates, suggestions, and corrections any time. Thanks for your contributions!

The executive summary:

  • Campaigns flock to streaming services as more begin to accept political ads

Policy changes on popular platforms shake up the advertising landscape, leading to price spikes and a 15x increase in campaign spend on TV, including connected TV, just as streaming services are projected to surpass traditional TV viewership rates.

  • Influencer marketing achieves institutional adoption

From the DNC to national advocacy organizations, major players across the space deploy both paid and unpaid influencers to deliver compelling messages to voters online.

  • Political text messages reach a tipping point

Declining contact rates, complex 10DLC carrier policies, oversaturation, and scams push practitioners to rethink the role of text messages.

  • Campaigns are starting to purchase their tech earlier

HGL’s 2022 Election Tech Survey reveals that campaigns are beginning to engage with tech vendors earlier in the cycle compared to 2020, with 37% now doing so one year ahead of Election Day.

  • Large M&A activity of key infrastructure raises questions among practitioners

NGP VAN’s acquisition by Apax Funds and consolidation into Bonterra creates uncertainty regarding the future of core voter data infrastructure.

  • Tech improves at the downballot level but campaigns still lack an affordable and effective stack 

Downballot campaigns experience unprecedented electoral success, but despite improvements in tech offerings, many still cannot access basic tools.

We hope this resource offers insights into the progressive technology landscape that will aid you in the work ahead. A big thank you to the amazing team of researchers who crafted this report and the contributors who shared their experiences.

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