Last summer, the Poor People’s Campaign put out an important analysis that made a compelling case for unleashing the power of poor and low-income Americans. The report used nationally representative data to illustrate the powerful impact that low-income Americans could have on the elections. With support from TargetSmart, PPC launched an aggressive registration, education, and turnout program. In the spring of 2021, TargetSmart evaluated the PPC’s program impact and analyzed the impact of low-income voters on the 2020 elections. Findings are summarized below.

  • **Increased registration rates**: In 2016, 71% of low-income Americans were registered to vote. In 2020, that registration rate was increased to 78%.
  • **Increased turnout**: In 2016 low-income people turn out at a rate of 71% and in 2020 that turnout rate increased to 75%.
  • **Increased vote share**: Low-income voters were 31% of the electorate in 2020, compared to 41% of the electorate in 2016.
  • **PPC Program Impact**: Voters targeted by the Poor People’s Campaign across 15 states turned out to vote at a substantially higher rate than similar voters who were not targeted by the program.

It would be wrong to think of low-income voters as a monolithic group with the potential to unilaterally swing an election, however the size of the low-income voting population should encourage elected officials to consider the growing political power of poor people.