Voter Turnout & AccessResearch

Research Based Approaches to Get Out the Vote


Our team recognized a gap in research on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voters and set out to run our first polling and focus groups in our four Tier 1 States: Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

COVID-19 upended how front line organizations conduct GOTV. Beyond adjusting to pandemic constrictions, there is an urgent need for democracy work to incorporate , the fight for racial justice in America and the ways in which lived experiences for BIPOC voters show up in the voting booth.

These are indeed complex issues and we wanted to provide our partners with concrete data to help inform their organizing efforts for November. We actively acknowledge local organizations have first-hand expertise with these constituencies and welcome feedback on our initial findings. Information below is based on polling and focus groups conducted in August of 2020.

Focus Groups

We contracted with project manager Amanda Luz Henning Santiago who led our research in partnership with the Schlesinger Group. We conducted 12 two-hour focus groups with eight participants each.

Areas of Focus

  • 2 groups of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters in Gwinnett, Dekalb and Fulton counties in Georgia, moderated by Tricia Juhn of Encanto Strategy
  • 2 groups of Latinx voters each in Arizona and Pennsylvania, moderated by Dr. Ines Poza of Poza Consulting
  • 2 groups of Black voters each in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, moderated by Michael A. Smith II of Smithmark, LLC.

Parameters for Focus Groups:

  • Between 18 and 65
  • Registered, likely voter
  • 50% mix of male and female
  • 50% mix of college and non-college degree holders


With the guidance of Anand Gupta of Change Research, we conducted polling of likely voters in our tier 1 states, oversampling voters of color. These results are significant because at N = 4,814 our sample sizes are larger than other national polling ahead of the November 2020 election with a margin of error of 1.3%

For example, a recent NBC/Marist poll included 900 likely voters in Arizona and North Carolina and under 800 likely voters in Pennsylvania with a margin of error of at least 4% in each of these polls.

Additionally, a recent poll from CBS News in Georgia sampled over 1,000 likely voters, the margin of error was still 3.4%. Once again, Public Wise’s polling was not only larger, but more precise with respect to BIPOC communities in all four states.

Key Takeaways

1. Support Voter’s Current Plans

Across the states, a super-majority of high propensity voters have decided how they are going to vote and are highly unlikely to change their plans.

  • This means organizations need to consider refocusing persuasion efforts (eg, vote in person ⟶ vote by mail) to turnout efforts.
    • Voting in person? Here are your options to vote safely, connections to PPE supplies if possible, etc..
    • Voting by mail? Here are your options to make sure the Board of Elections receives your ballot.

2. Focus Outreach on Voter Propensity

  • High Propensity Voters – Support their voting plan.
  • Low & Moderate Propensity Voters – Focus on voter education and safer voting options, such as early in person where possible or by mail with robust, repeated messaging on locations of ballot drop boxes and local Boards of Election offices.

Share Findings

We are happy to share findings and data free of charge to any organizations.
Please feel free to contact