Environmentalists don’t vote

The surprising reality is that environmentalists don’t vote. In the 2016 presidential election, they were 15% less likely to vote than the general voter population.

Today, I went to a talk hosted by Boston Area Sustainability Group, called Inside Elections and the Environmental Vote. The presenter, Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and CEO of the Environmental Voter Project, crunched big data on the electorate and uncovered surprising facts about who these environmentalists are. It’s not hipsters in Oregon, he made clear. It’s more likely to be grandmothers in the urban core.

Actually, the real takeaway was just how rich personal data on voters is. The era of targeting “soccer Moms” is so 1996. Now, campaigns target YOU. The amount of data in your voting file, linked to all kinds of public records and purchasing behaviors can tell them frighteningly true things. They’re literally more accurate than just asking you directly.

The Environmental Voter Project is laser-focused on getting environmentalist non-voters to turn up at the polls. It’s not about persuasion, it’s just mobilization. Stinnett stressed the importance of social pressures in getting people to turnout. So I signed their environmental voter pledge, to add strength to their social movement.

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