It’s not just clickbait, it actually happened. Heading back to Austin from Dallas a few months ago. I got pulled over for speeding… 70 in a 60… so hardly speeding. But, it kinda makes more sense that I got pulled over when you consider I drive a two-door Jeep Wrangler with a “Life is Good” tire cover (I know, what am I like 17?)
The Trooper was no doubt convinced there was a scene from That 70’s Show going down in the Wrangler passing him at a speed ever-so-slightly faster than the posted limit. I could see the disappointment in his eyes after he laid sight on the 42-year-old bald guy wearing a button-up shirt that was driving the Jeep.
He asked where I was headed. I told him back to Austin after a day of meetings in Dallas. He asked what I did. I told him I run a software company. He seemed interested. He asked what kind of software. I told him it was a platform to help political campaigns contact voters. His response to that was immediate: “Were you the one sending all of those texts for Beto?” I told him no, it wasn’t us.
For those of you that may not be aware, Beto’s campaign sent a TON of peer-to-peer text messages in Texas in 2018. But here’s the thing. I guarantee you this Trooper saw some digital ads from O’Rourke’s campaign, saw the TV spots, probably got a few robocalls, maybe they even called him or knocked on his door with a real person. He didn’t ask me about any of that though. He asked about the text messages he got because that’s what stood out.
Honestly, since our awakening on peer-to-peer texting, I have been floored with the results we’ve seen. We will be releasing a case study by the end of the summer on some work we did in an election for a Board seat on the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in Austin. I know, it doesn’t sound exciting, but it shows exactly how P2P texting can have a direct impact on turnout in an election that most voters didn’t even know was happening.
And finally, if you’ve read this far, you are awesome. But also, if you read this far you might be interested in listening to a recent interview I gave on Karen Jagoda’s Digital Politics Podcast. Karen does amazing work. Her podcast is the one of the few out there focussing on tools, tactics, etc for campaign professionals. We talked P2P, SMS chatbots for advocacy, and some *interesting* voter contact methods used in the recent Australian election. It’s only 15 minutes : )