The Environmental Voter Project, a nonprofit startup, is playing a longer game, seeking to coax more supporters of environmental causes into the political process.
The goal isn’t to win elections, but to change the overall electorate so that progressive environmental policies are given greater voice.
“If you dramatically increase voter demand for a particular set of issues, politicians will respond,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, the project’s founder and a veteran campaign strategist.
Using both predictive voter models and public voter files, the group is targeting people who do not regularly vote but rank the environment as a top political issue.
Earlier this year, researchers for the group found that nearly 16 million people who identify as environmentalists did not vote in the 2010 national elections. A September survey in Massachusetts estimated that 277,000 environmentalists sat out the 2014 governor’s election, and that nearly 100,000 weren’t even registered to vote.