Predicting the Election Night Shockers; New Compliance Regulations for Texts

July 28, 2022

How to Spot a Shocker

We’ve all seen the national generic ballot polls predicting a Republican wave election. Inevitably, we’re going to see some election night shockers – places where a relatively-unknown Republican knocks off an “unbeatable” Democrat.

So how do you spot some of these Republican opportunities? What makes a race a potential election night shocker? Without doing a deep dive into the specific races, here are a few things to look for:

Are assumptions about the competitiveness of a district based too heavily on the Trump realignment? In 2016, 2018, and 2020, the Republican base shifted from the suburbs to rural communities and small, industrial cities. District analyses shifted with it. Are some of those traditionally-Republican suburban districts reverting back to their pre-Trump alignment and now back in play?

Is crime a local word-of-mouth issue in the district? Twenty-five years ago, crime was always one of the top issues. It will be again – generally – in 2022. In some crime-ridden districts, it will be a decisive issue as traditional Democrat voters quietly pull the lever for law-and-order candidates.

Is the district’s economy reliant on energy production? Agriculture? Are major communities in a district dealing with the visible effects and economic burdens of Biden’s relocated illegal aliens? Is there a sense that “Washington policies are destroying our local economy”?

Are local school issues driving base energy among suburban moms? The organic rise of groups like Moms for Liberty is comparable only to the original Tea Party of 2009-2010. Both were focused in the suburbs. Both are producing previously unengaged activists.

Or is the incumbent underfunded (or just lazy) and taking things for granted? It happens every cycle. It will happen in November.

Are Your Text Messages Compliant?

The rules for texting are changing rapidly. Last month, wireless carriers adopted new regulations for 10DLC political texts. If a campaign isn’t compliant, delivery rates can be restricted, and costs are higher.

Up until recently, 10DLC was pretty much the Wild West, leading to plenty of spam, scams, and overt non-compliance.

Those days are (hopefully) behind us, but compliance with the new rules is tricky, and some campaigns and vendors are going to be left unable to text voters. (Or they may get hammered with fines if they try.)

Under the new rules, wireless carriers are requiring a registration process for all campaigns and political organizations, not just the vendors themselves.

The goal is to crack down on dishonest or misleading text traffic and identify the vendors whose “peer-to-peer” texting isn’t actually, well, peer-to-peer.

Engagement Strategies is Ascent Strategic’s phone, text, and telephone townhall company, and we’ve been diligently working through the new regulations on behalf of all of our clients. (This isn’t new for us: When other companies were getting shut out of making calls to cell phones, traditionally illegal from any computer-assisted dialing platform, we built our own network of live-operator phone banks with a compliant, manual-dialing system.)

So the question of 2022 is: Are your text messages compliant with the new and rapidly-evolving regulatory landscape?

If you’re curious, Engagement Strategies has sent more than 30 million fully-compliant text messages, including surveys, graphics, emojis, HD video, enhanced fonts, and animated GIFs.

Not only that, but 95% of our text messages are opened within the first five minutes of receipt. Our peer-to-peer call centers can send 5-6 text messages per second, and our multi-stage data scrubbing process saves money by eliminating landlines, bad numbers, and previous opt-outs.

If you have any questions about our capabilities or the new rules, contact Ascent partner Kory Wood at

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