Direct mail remains the dominant media that campaigns use to interact with voters. That was one of the topline findings of a survey of Virginia voters following the Commonwealth’s off-year vote last month.
The Center for Campaign Innovation and the State Government Leadership Foundation’s survey, conducted by 3D Strategic Research Nov. 7-8, asked 600 voters in targeted legislative districts what their primary touch point was with the campaigns targeting them.
Seventy-eight percent of voters reported receiving mail while 69% of voters said they saw campaign ads online. TV ads (68%) and text messages (67%) were the next most reported points of contact.
What’s telling for Republicans is that they continue to trail Democrats in early voting — despite a concerted push by GOP strategists to get their supporters to the polls before Election Day this year.
In fact, Republicans’ deficit in absentee mail voting is staggering: 65% of Democratic respondents reported voting absentee mail while only 34% of Republicans cast their ballot that way.
When it comes to early in-person voting, Republicans had a slight edge over Democrats (50%-49%). That edge grew in Election Day voting, where 52% of Republican respondents cast their ballot that way compared to 47% of Democrats.
So it’s clear that while mail remains the primary way that voters are interacting with campaigns, Republicans are still leery of casting their ballot that way. And as the results proved in Virginia this year, that’s to the party’s detriment.