Citizen Data’s Approach to Segmentation.

While the political left and right benefit from robust data engines, nonpartisan organizations looking to drive cross-partisan solutions are left without direct access to a shared database for outreach and mobilization. Enter: Citizen Data.

Citizen empowers change-makers with the actionable data, insights and tools to transcend differences, improve lives, and drive sustainable policy solutions for a stronger, more responsive democracy.  

We are building a data ecosystem for the movement that goes beyond standard voter attributes and look at the values and unique qualities that drive voters towards critical solutions-oriented outcomes that go beyond partisanship.

Over the past two years, Citizen has been working on a core democracy model to better understand the entire electorate and their views on democracy. Core to our segmentation was the belief that we aren’t going to reach people on democracy by talking about democracy.

Instead, we sought out values that make someone mobilizable, persuadable and unreachable on democracy and utilizing an index of questions, we created our National Democracy Spectrum:

Utilizing a bipartisan lens, we were able to create a framework to talk to all Americans about key aspects of our democracy, from polarization to political violence. Our 45 million Democracy Defenders are those ready to be mobilized. They are open to engaging with those who have views dissimilar to them meaning they’ll put progress over personal opinions. They also include those trusting in 2024 and can come to the defense of our elections. Finally, they reject political violence, no matter what. While nothing about this universe screams democracy, their trust and faith in institutions tells us they’re ready to come to democracy’s defense when we ask them to.

Our Inhibitors tell a different tale. They’re the polar opposite on every front. While partisan politics is quick to put this universe into one party or another, this approach shows that there are Americans on both sides of the aisle unwilling to hear other’s perspectives and find violence acceptable when electoral politics doesn’t go their way. Of course, Inhibitors take a very different shape and pose different and unequal threats on the left versus the right, but as it relates to field building and catalyzing, both Liberal and Conservative Inhibitors are hard to reach.

Finally, our arguably most important bucket are our Shifters. Shifters, as their name suggests, are on the fence and can be persuaded to join the Defender or Inhibitor camp with the right or wrong messaging. Identifying this audience, messaging to their unique views and inoculating against potential threats, is critical to fostering a winning coalition for democracy.

Overall, each segment requires unique communications tactics to reach them where they are and move them accordingly. Here are just a few examples:


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