The Robokiller political message report

2022 insights & analysis

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Political messages in 2022: Key takeaways
Robokiller analyzes political robocall and robotext trends to identify the ways political parties use these communications to reach Americans. Here’s what we observed in 2022 and what it means for voters nationwide.
Midterm elections and 2024 Presidential announcements drive a spike in political texts
Americans received 15 billion political text messages and 384 million political calls in 2022.

Inside: What can Americans expect going into a non-election year?
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Shortcode messages remain the medium
of choice
Political parties leaned into shortcode messages (five- or six-digit phone numbers used to communicate with voters) during the midterms.

Inside: Which shortcodes hit Americans the hardest in 2022?
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Take control over your phone with Robokiller
Inside: How to unsubscribe from political messages.
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The state of political messages in 2022

15 billion
political texts received
by Americans in 2022
of political text messages in 2022 included Republican-related keywords
384 million
political calls received
by Americans in 2022
increase in political texts from 2021
of political text messages in 2022 included Democratic-related keywords
decrease in political calls
from 2021

Political text messages skyrocket around midterm elections

In 2022, Americans received 15 billion political text messages, a 158% increase from 2021. Given 2022 was the first major election cycle since 2020, it’s not entirely surprising to see such a large year-over-year climb. Regardless, the spike in political SMS underscores the fact political texting is now the default campaign strategy for politicians and campaigners.

Political text messages, which typically arrive in the form of donation requests and pleas for support at the polls, are here to stay no matter how much Americans may wish them to vanish. Political calls, on the other hand, are diminishing in frequency. They remain a significant cog in the political vote gathering machine, but pale in comparison to SMS — Americans received 384 million political calls, a 57% decrease from 2021.

Misinformation struck again in late 2022

As the 2022 midterm elections neared and campaigns made their final push, Kansas voters received an anonymous text message. It read:

Robokiller informed voters of the text message that was flooding the phones of Kansas Democrats related to voting “Yes” to protect women’s health, when in reality a “No” vote would protect their rights. Robokiller, with the help of journalists, steered voters clear of misinformation.

This is just one of the latest examples of political misinformation by SMS.

Political texting took off in 2020 and continues to be a medium political candidates use to reach voters. Unfortunately, misinformation has taken on a life of its own in the process. Americans should always stay wary of misinformation and report it.

Shortcode messaging decreased, but Americans shouldn’t count it out

Shortcode messaging is an easy way for political candidates to reach American phones en masse. With this form of outreach, campaigns can instantly send messages to every subscriber on their list.

Shortcode phone numbers are generally easy to remember and indicate to the voter which campaign is sending the message. For the second consecutive year, Trump Alerts Program was one of the top two shortcodes, followed by Republican National Convention (RNC Alerts), which jumped to second place ahead of National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC Alerts).

Shortcode messaging decreased by 82% year-over-year. The drop is likely due to the overflow of messages Americans received in 2021 related to the 2020 Presidential election results, coupled with phone carriers restricting the use of shared shortcodes in the second half of 2021. Though shortcode messages were down, political messages increased due to peer-to-peer texting. Robokiller usually sees peer-to-peer messages rise during election cycles as volunteers get more involved in campaigning.

Robokiller anticipates candidates will revert back to shortcode messaging ahead of the next Presidential election because of their ability to help candidates cast a wide net and communicate efficiently with voters.

Political texts flooded the most populous states

California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois were the top politically texted states in 2022. Given that 2022 was a midterm election, the increase in the amount of messages in states with significant populations like these was to be expected. Robokiller also tends to identify a high volume of political messages in battleground and swing states.

Political calls declined, but well-known states remained a target

Though political calls declined in 2022, Americans in the top five most-called states were still inundated with upwards of 150 million of these calls. If you live in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, or New York, it’s likely you received more than your fair share of political calls in 2022.

How to unsubscribe from political messages

Americans received more political messages in 2022 than they did in 2021, and chances are this trend won’t go away anytime soon. Robokiller anticipates 2023 has the potential to be similar to 2022’s midterm election year, especially as we head into another Presidential election cycle. These levels of political messaging may leave Americans feeling helpless in their quest to control who can contact them.

Although political messages are not illegal, they are undoubtedly a nuisance. To unsubscribe from unwanted political messages, we suggest taking the following steps:

Reply “STOP” or ask to be removed from the campaign’s list.
Contact the campaign organizer directly and ask to be removed. You can do this by calling or emailing the campaign.
Download a spam text and spam call blocker like Robokiller or Textkiller to stop a large percentage of political messages, rather than block phone numbers manually.

Robokiller eliminates 99% of unwanted calls and texts.

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There’s good news: You can eliminate text scams with Robokiller and Textkiller

Robokiller and Textkiller are on the front lines defending Americans against unwanted calls and texts. Though political robocalls and texts aren't illegal, that doesn't mean they aren't spammy or disruptive. Robokiller believes every voter should have the right to choose whether or not they want to receive them. With 99% effective protection against these messages, our award-winning technology helps ensure you'll get only the messages you want.

Take back control over your phone with Robokiller

Political messages and calls can be annoying, and at times unwanted. The desire to support your political party can be difficult to balance alongside your desire to not be interrupted.Robokiller's award-winning, Al-powered technology stops 99% of unwanted spam calls and texts, so
everyone can live life spam-free.

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