According to the Washington Post, the 2020 election will come down to two important variables: Who actually votes, and who they vote for. “Radio can be important in affecting both of those factors” says Tim Robisch, Market Manager for The Media Audit. Citing estimates from a survey of 60,000 respondents across 57 markets, Robisch notes on the average day, radio reaches nearly 75% of active voters and nearly 70% of non-voters.
For getting non-voters out to vote, The Media Audit voting study shows (in red) on the table below that younger demos are less likely to be voters but radio shows great strength in reaching these non-voter demos with a daily reach of 60% to 75%.
Race is often brought up as a strong factor in voting behavior and The Media Audit study shows radio as particularly strong with Hispanics, reaching more than 80% of Hispanic voters and over 75% of non-voters.
The role radio can play in getting people out to vote is illuminated by the time spent with the medium. “Across all the cultural groups, non-voters spend more time with radio than any other medium,” said Robisch. “So it is easy to see the value for the political parties to use radio to mobilize the electorate.”
In terms of political affiliation, radio is in a strong position with virtually the same reach for the two major parties: 71.5% of Democrats and 72.4% of Republicans. The Media Audit also says radio reaches 71.3% of independents. But its reach increases to 76.3% of the Green Party and 75.5% of Libertarians. Combined, the Green Party and Libertarians account for 3.5% of potential voters. The Green Party makes up 1.1% of those voters but they are heavy radio listeners, tuning in for more than three hours a day.
“If this presidential race is as close as 2016, the power of radio in reaching the special interest groups could be significant in making a difference in the November outcome,” Robisch concludes.