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A New Approach to Understanding and Communicating With American Voters

To convince people to take civic action or shift their opinions, you first need to understand how they think, feel, and frame the world.
Over the past year, we undertook an ambitious research project to examine Americans’ core beliefs across the full political spectrum. That work led to a new view of the public, clustered into nine segments around people’s values rather than their demographics or voting behaviors.
To deepen our understanding of these audiences, we worked with creators from advocacy, marketing, and media to produce dozens of social media-optimized videos that represented a wide variety of progressive messages. We then distributed these videos with scientific rigor on social media and measured the impact of the messages across a wide variety of audiences using innovative digital testing tools.
The result is a new way to use 21st-century tools to understand, identify, and listen to audiences across our society. We don’t believe in a single message or process — but we’ve tried to share our data and demonstrate a set of methods that, together, may illuminate the path forward.