Show cover of Digital Politics with Karen Jagoda

Digital Politics with Karen Jagoda

The non-partisan Digital Politics Podcast with Karen Jagoda explores political and advocacy campaign best practices, new technologies and innovative approaches to voter engagement, fundraising, ground game strategies, cross-media advertising, using social media to promote and persuade, and getting out the vote. Since 2007, this show has spotted trends and interviewed strategists on the campaign trail as well as candidates, elected officials, and solutions providers who are bringing new tools to campaign staffers and volunteers.


Removing Obstacles to Running for Office with Holli Holliday Sisters Lead Sisters Vote
Holli Holliday, lawyer and President of Sisters Lead Sisters Vote, joins Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, to shine a light on the obstacles that are part of the system that keep first-time candidates from succeeding. While candidates supported by the established parties are told about access to voter lists and committee support, newcomers are often not aware of the resources that are available for fundraising and organizing. Deepak and Holli talk about Paths to leadership development Overcoming the unknowns for women thinking about running for office Why leaders need to show up and not just rely on grassroots supporters Identifying and amplifying community problems using visualization tools and maps Examples of Black women leaders The power of collective thought to bring about change #SistersLeadSistersVote #PoliticalCampaigns #WomenCandidates #BlackWomenLeaders #Leadership @TheDemLabs @Hollileshae
29:16 9/20/23
What Motivates Gen-Z to Vote with Annabel Roubinowitz
Annabel Roubinowitz, a high school senior living in San Francisco, surveyed her Gen-Z cohorts to find out what issues they are concerned about and why they do or do not vote. While young people seem excited about hot-button issues like reproductive rights and gun control, they are not registering to vote or turning out to vote in expected numbers. Annabel's research sheds some light on how candidates can tap into this rage and enthusiasm to engage more Gen-Z to vote. We talk about: What turns Gen-Z off about voting What issues are relevant to Gen-Z post-COVID  Advancing from online activism to voting Advice for candidates to get the attention of Gen-Z Role of peer pressure to change behavior and attitudes The podcast tbh: by, about, and for teenagers podcast Annabel did as part of the KALW Public Media project #GenZ #Activism #KALW #BradyCenter #YoungVoters #GOTV #GunControl #ClimateChange #ReproductiveRights
19:58 8/25/23
Politics of Available and Affordable Childcare with Cassie Choi Pair Team
Cassie Choi, Co-Founder of the Pair Team, is focused on the challenge of finding available and affordable childcare for high-risk and high-need populations and the actions that can be taken to improve the health of families. As a White House Clinician Innovators Roundtable member, Cassie is looking at the health ecosystem and how to drive civic engagement from all stakeholders to help advance healthcare needs. As a nurse and entrepreneur, Cassis is advocating for childcare with the Biden administration to stimulate innovation at the state and local levels to address childcare needs and better understand how that affects the social determinants of the health of their populations. We talk about: Movers of health equity and which communities are most affected by the lack of childcare resources Raising awareness about unmet childcare and eldercare needs  National, state, and local activities to address childcare and whole-person healthcare of at-risk communities Connection between social determinants of health and available childcare Reducing obstacles to getting funding for local organizations to provide healthcare and childcare #PairTeam #HealthEquity #Childcare #SDOH #SocialDeterminantsofHealth #PublicPolicy #Medicaid #VirtualFirst
20:28 8/24/23
Opportunities for Text-to-Audio Generated by AI-Driven Apps with Deepak Puri The Democracy Labs
Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, brings his technical skills to applying AI to dense text to make it accessible to a broader audience. This episode includes a sample of turning text-to-audio from the introduction of the Georgia indictment of election fraud and demonstrates the limitations and opportunities for a tool like We talk about: Creating a rapid response to breaking news by using AI-based apps to turn text into a voice of choice  Fighting voter apathy with short, understandable content that drives action on the local level Best practices for using generative AI in political and advocacy campaigns @TheDemLabs #AI #TexttoAudio #PoliticalMessaging #VoterApathy  
18:20 8/19/23
Insights from Applying AI to the State Public Policy Environment with Yemi Adewunmi Plural
Yemi Adewunmi is the Co-Founder and COO of Plural, part of the Higher Ground Labs portfolio of companies.  Plural has recognized the opportunity to apply AI to track the discovery, creation, and iterations of legislation at the congressional and state level to inform a number of different stakeholders.  Based on her experience working at the New York State Legislature, Yemi and her team provide tools to change how policy data can be viewed to identify trends and opportunities and aid collaboration. We talk about: Opportunities to unlock the power of legislative intelligence when the legislative process is more transparent The value of real-time information and alerts about the progress of legislation for those in the opposition Learning from the mistakes and successes of other state legislatures Value of their free offering to become acquainted with the AI tool The future of AI in influencing public policy #PluralPolicy #Legislation #LegislativeTracking #PublicPolicy #AI #AILegislativeTracking #AIAlerts #Activism
18:05 8/9/23
Paying More Attention to State Legislatures with Joann Loulan Local Majority
Joann Loulan, Executive Director of Local Majority, joins Deepak Puri, CEO, of The Democracy Labs, in a story about activism at the state level and the need to pay attention to what state legislatures are doing. Local Majority is promoting research from subject experts to counteract the influences of misleading and disinformation at the state and local levels. Deepak and Joann discuss: Why well-documented research is essential to dispelling misinformation and disinformation about the activities of state legislatures Use of rolling billboards to promote candidates and highlight local issues Finding and engaging specific voters to motivate them to take an interest in state and local candidates Who is taking responsibility for infrastructure projects #BlueforYou #LocalMajority @TheDemLabs #Activism #Disinformation #Misinformation #LocalPolitics
27:13 8/2/23
Digital Advertising Strategies for 2024 Political Campaigns with Beth Dwyer MNI Targeted Media
Beth Dwyer, Vice President of Sales at Dotdash Meredith's MNI Targeted Media, worked for the Washington Post and Politico on the corporate side. Beth came to political adverting in 2017 when she realized the role digital advertising could play in political campaigns. She notes the changes since 2020 in the amount of money spent on digital ads and when that money will be spent to reach voters in 2024. Because of the fragmentation in the ad market, programmatic demonstrates that ad buys should be less about where the voter is and more about reaching the desired audience using data points outside of traditional voter data to understand voter behavior and target opportunities. We talk about: Advantages of digital ads over linear tv ads Targeting voters using programmatic, OTT/CTV, and social media Availability of ad inventory across the web Need to talk to young voters and Hispanic and African-American communities Most desirable online audiences in 2024 Use of AI in political advertising and building relationships with voters #MNI #PoliticalAds #PoliticalAdvertising #Election2024 #AI #ProgrammaticAdBuys #TargetingVoters
18:24 7/27/23
Connected TV Spending Increasing for Political Campaigns with Jess Ellis
Jess Ellis, Senior Specialist, Client Partnerships, Politics, gives an orientation on how political tv advertising has expanded to include a significant investment in connected tv ads. To reach cord-cutters, campaigns increasingly realize that CTV ads find voters on the right screen at the right time to persuade, inform, and mobilize. Streaming video allows for specific targeting of voters compared to buying ads on linear tv in expensive media markets. Digital video ads reach people where they are throughout the day and give the advertiser the ability to interact and follow up. We talk about: Why CTV is a powerful medium for reaching audiences Whether CTV ad buys are coming from the tv or digital media budgets Creative options for interactive ads run on CTV Using multilingual ads and influencers to target specific audiences Need to experiment with CTV to determine message and targeting effectiveness #PoliticalAdvertising #Election2024 #CTVads #CTV #DigitalAdSpend #PoliticalTrends #PoliticalCampaigns #DigitalAds #Voters
17:54 7/20/23
Fighting MisInformation on WhatsApp with Alshika Jennela Indian American Impact
Alshika Jennela, Program Manager Mis/Disinformation at Indian American Impact, and Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs,, talk about how WhatsApp is used by people all around the globe. It is seen as a trusted source of news from friends and family while, at the same time, a source of disinformation. With deep insights into the Indian American and South Asian American communities, they highlight how activists are working to present facts and correct misinformation and disinformation spreading on social media.  Deepak and Alshika discuss: Lessons learned from the spread of misinformation during COVID Who is using WhatsApp  How disinformation related to politics is spreading on social media How to fight mis/disinformation within minority communities @IA_Impact @TheDemLabs #WhatsApp #Disinformation #Misinformation #IndianAmerican #SouthAsianAmerican
15:46 7/18/23
Matching Voter Files to Digital Identities with Ray Kingman Semcasting
Ray Kingman, CEO and Founder of Semcasting, a data service company, is taking voter files to the next level by including more relevant data to support digital marketing in political campaigns.  Their cookie-free approach uses IP delivery points, device information, email, and offline data and matches to online activity and other known voter characteristics. They are testing a digital activity scoring system and different new twists on the data to allow campaigns to create discussions with voters and not just display messages. We talk about: Improving the reach of digital political ads Value of the constellation approach to finding voters Designing a more effective media mix to target and reach the desired audience Why understanding early voters means saving money on later media buys and improving outcomes Authorized use of voter files @Semcasting #TargetingVoters #DigitalIdentities #PoliticalCampaigns #Voters #CTV #PoliticalAds
19:00 7/11/23
Overcoming Restrictions of Voter ID Laws with Lauren Kunis VoteRiders
Lauren Kunis, CEO of VoteRiders, and Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs,, talk about the various voter ID laws that prevent or intimidate eligible Americans from casting a ballot that is counted.  VoteRiders has a nationwide network to provide voter ID education and assistance to get the form of ID that is accepted to register and vote. Deepak and Lauren discuss State-by-state challenges of getting an acceptable ID to register to vote  Why underrepresented communities are the hardest hit by voter suppression tactics Building a voting public that is more representative of the population Need for site-based voter ID assistance to expand the electorate Lifting language barriers by providing resources in Spanish and other local languages  @VoteRiders @TheDemLabs #VoterID #VoterSuppression #Voters #Gerrymandering #DemographicGerrymandering
22:51 6/29/23
Role of Dynamic Maps in Political Campaigns with Julia Bayer and Michelle Kinzer Esri
Julia Bayer, solution engineer National Government team  & Michelle Kinzer, Public Policy Team of Esri, join Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, to discuss the power of geographic information to gain a greater understanding of problems and as a means to engage voters in solutions. They emphasize we all share location and a sense of place, and maps can present facts and persuade viewers to broaden their view. Deepak talks with Julia and Michelle about: What maps can communicate How GIS can be used by campaigns to visualize voter trends and identify new target demographics Why GIS tools are being used by more campaigns and government entities Using StoryMaps for persuasion to localize data and present a personalized view of issues Integrating visualization and dynamic maps into the dashboard driving campaign decisions  @Esri @ThDemLabs #GIS #Maps #TargetingVoters #Visualization #Misinformation #Persuasion #Voters #PoliticalCampaigns
25:47 6/27/23
Creating Compelling Narratives Not Lists of Facts with Ineke Mushovic Wide Angle Research
Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of Wide Angle Research and Republican Rule, and Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, agree that candidates from the top of the ballot to the bottom can productively use strong images and provocative ads to draw in voters and drive a call to action. The Wide Angle Research approach brings video and storytelling techniques to down-ballot races and advocates looking to educate and persuade. Deepak and Ineke talk about: Use of political and advocacy ads to paint a dystopian view Need to tie issues together to make the point to voters Framing issues to tap into fear and an emotional response Using fear productively Making the argument in a concise and memorable way @TheDemLabs #WideAngleResearch #PoliticalAds #VoterPersuasion  
23:11 6/20/23
Campaigns and Advocates Recognizing the Power of Advertising on Podcasts with Sean Duggan SXM Media
Sean Duggan, VP of Advertising at SXM Media, is known for his ability to spot trends and work with clients to deploy audio ads to reach voters and constituents effectively. While digital ad budgets have grown for campaigns and advocacy groups, spending on podcast advertising has yet to take off.  This is another example of consumer advertisers embracing new ad formats while the political community hesitates to experiment.  Sean and I talk about: Opportunities for advertising on podcasts Unique targeting available for podcast ads  Advocacy groups that experimented and now expanding their podcast advertising budget Campaign 2024 digital media budgets and ad inventory @SXMMediaGroup #PoliticalAds #PodcastAdvertising #TargetingVoters #Election2024
23:22 6/12/23
Training the Next Generation of Elected Officials and Activists with Ashley Robinson BLUE Institute
Ashley Robinson, Founder and Principal of the BLUE Institute, and Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, agree that politics is the business of change. During the 2018 midterm in Georgia, Ashley was the Political Director for Stacy Abrams' gubernatorial campaign and, throughout her career, has driven registration efforts and GOTV with key constituents of color.  Ashley and Deepak talk about: The need to try new things in campaigns and think outside the box to address complex problems The market needs that BLUE Institute is addressing Why testing is essential to find the right words to get people involved Diversity in a campaign staff means better communication with voters Georgia politics, redistricting, and gerrymandering @theBLUEInstitute @TheDemLabs #GOTV #GeorgiaPolitics #StacyAbrams #VoterTurnout #VotersofColor The BLUE Institute  
29:35 6/6/23
Supporting Families of Veterans Who Have Committed Suicide with Dave Barbush Once A Soldier
Dave Barbush, Founder and CEO of Once A Soldier, and Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, discuss the need to address the scope and significant impact of death by suicide by veterans and ways to prevent it.  Dave has a background in online outreach and has used these skills to start this virtual non-profit to raise money and awareness and provide resources to help limit the emotional and financial scars for families and friends. Dave and Deepak talk about: The difference between the prevention of veteran suicides and the postvention needed to help family and loved ones recover when a veteran has committed suicide What suicide victims leave behind for the veteran family members Crisis funding to cover bills Caring out final wishes Steps the VA can take to make sure families of veteran suicides get all the benefits they deserve #OnceASoldier @TheDemLabs #Veterans #VeteranSuicide #MemorialDay #VA #Suicide  
23:47 5/29/23
Telling Compelling Stories with Maps to Persuade and Engage with Allen Carroll Esri
Allen Carroll, Program Manager for Storytelling at Esri, talks with Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, about using mapping and visualization to tell compelling stories and drive change. Allen moved to Esri after 27 years at the National Geographic Society, where he gained a deep appreciation of the power of GIS data and maps. Allen and Deepak talk about:  Developing the Esri storytelling app StoryMaps to generate interactive maps with multimedia content to tell place-based stories  Sources of data to develop visualization of neighborhoods and communities to identify opportunities and problems Bringing GIS tools to a broader audience to engage constituents and enable real-time tracking of activities @ArcGISStoryMaps @Esri @TheDemLabs #GIS #Visualization #Maps #Mapping #StoryMaps
20:30 5/23/23
Building Power with Mira Weinstein Organizing to Win
Mira Weinstein, Organizer in Chief at Organizing to Win, and Deepak Puri, The Democracy Labs, discuss the challenging topic of power. They agree that strategic campaigns must go beyond winning to develop the power that can bring about real change.  Mira and Deepak talk about: The relational dynamic of power What motivates organizers and activists to gain power Impact of extending power to a broader population Tools for organizing and mobilizing #OrganizingToWin @TheDemLabs #Organizing #BuildPower #StrategicOrganizingCampaigns #OrganizingEducation #DisruptingWhiteSupremacyCulture
18:10 5/18/23
Using a Geographic Lens to Address Social Justice with Clinton Johnson Esri
Clinton Johnson is the Social Justice/Racial Equity Lead at Esri and an advocate for using GIS and visualization tools to highlight social challenges and opportunities for improvement. Clinton and Deepak Puri, The Democracy Labs, explore the kinds of data that can make a difference in understanding a problem and put it in a form that can lead to action. Clinton and Deepak share a deep appreciation for geospatial technology and the power of GIS to drill down to a neighborhood level to help organizations better allocate resources. Clinton and Deepak talk about: Driving community engagement with a data-driven approach GIS tools to determine the best use of limited resources  Need for extensive data points that can be used to achieve the granularity needed to identify problems Role of visualization to identify hidden gaps in services and opportunities  @Esri @TheDemLabs #GIS #Visualization #SocialJustice #RacialEquity
19:57 5/16/23
Speechwriting Best Practices and Mistakes with Dan Gerstein Gotham Ghostwriters
Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters, shares his reflections about how and why elected officials, candidates, and advocates use ghostwriting services to create impactful speeches, books, op-eds, and other projects. We talk about: Working with Governor Hochul on her State of the State book Sweet spot for the length of a live and video speech Use of humor in political communication How the language of politics has changed Mistakes speechwriters make when coming up with the right words to reach voters @GothamGhosts #Ghostwriters #PoliticalSpeeches #Voters
23:49 5/12/23
Using the Internet to Win Elections with Colin Delany Epolitics
Deepak Puri, CEO of The Democracy Labs, talks with Colin Delany,, about how internet use has changed over the years and the mistakes that campaigns make when using this tool. Colin reflects on best practices and tactical actions in his newly revised e-book How to use the Internet to change the world and win elections. Deepak and Colin talk about: Fundraising best practices Content that compels people to take action Value of listening and gossip Smart digital media buying strategies Impact of AI on political campaigns #ColinDelany #Epolitics @TheDemLabs #Fundraising #Voters #DigitalAds #AI #Mobilization
18:05 5/9/23
Organizing Tool for Grassroots Amplification on Social Media with Nick Knudsen DemCast
 Nick Knudsen Co-Founder of DemCast talks with Deepak Puri, The Democracy Labs, about organizing tools for campaigns and advocates that empower volunteers. Their social media toolkits help campaigns gain momentum, provide a method for rapid response and build relationships with a broader universe of voters.  Nick and Deepak talk about: Driving social media actions Need for speed to get attention for a topic Volume of people who share a message essential to see change The power of amplification through grassroots messengers   #DemCast @TheDemLabs #Organizing #SocialMedia #Voters #Grassroots
18:30 4/30/23
Internship Opportunities for Political Engagement with Sandra Radoff Students for Justice
Sandra Radoff, Co-Director of Students for Justice, talks with Deepak Puri, The Democracy Labs, about a grassroots effort that grew out of the challenges and opportunities created by COVID. The Students for Justice started with an idea about overcoming restrictions in the earliest days of the pandemic.  It is now an organization that provides paid internships to college students to introduce them to career opportunities in politics and advocacy. Deepak and Sandra talk about: The under-utilized power of students for political campaigns and to strengthen democracy College students targeted by the organization to participate in paid internships Role of adult mentors to help students find their place in the political process Opportunities for organizing, campaigning, and direct field exposure for students Recruiting students and virtual house parties Growth of voter outreach on social media Value of a virtual and hybrid approach to engage student interns @VoteSFJ #StudentsforJustice #VoteSFJ @TheDemLabs #GrassrootsOrganizing #VoterOutreach    
21:35 4/24/23
The Power of E-Mail Lists for Fundraising with David Lytel Majority Messaging
David Lytel, Founder of Majority Messaging, has extensive experience using digital tools to persuade and motivate voters, starting with serving in the Clinton White House and being responsible for the first websites.  Investing in quality e-mail lists is the starting point of an effective campaign to reach those most likely to contribute, volunteer, and turn out to vote. Strategies include buying lists of names of voters and testing to determine the value of those names.   We talk about: Targeting e-mail lists to reach voters and the nationalization of campaigns Ecology of online fundraising Value of e-mails sent to previous donors Why the Subject line is crucial Strategies for building e-mail lists Challenges of moving from e-mail to text #MajorityMessaging #Email #Fundraising #OnlineFundraising #Voters #GOTV
20:55 4/18/23
Engaging and Mobilizing Voters with Sara Schreiber America Votes
Sara Schreiber is the Executive Director at America Votes coordinating the activities of progressive groups. Strategies for engaging voters have widened as the options for voting have expanded. America Votes educates people of all ages about the need to vote, finding them where they are throughout the day. Sara emphasizes that connecting with voters on issues is one way to persuade Independent voters, a growing segment of the electorate. We talk about: The Blue Surge Electorate in 2020 and 2022 and the potential for 2024 Engaging voters who are digital natives Need for in-person one-to-one conversations Turning voting into a habit Increase in the number of Independent voters, particularly in swing states What will drive voter turnout in 2024  @AmericaVotes #VoterTurnout #GOTV #IndependentVoters #ProgressiveVoters
22:56 4/12/23
Preventing Gun Violence with Po Murray Newtown Action Alliance
Po Murray, Founder and Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, joins Deepak Puri in an interview about ending gun violence. After the shooting at her local Sandy Hook Elementary School, Po took a fresh look at gun control and the role she could play in keeping weapons of war out of the hands of civilians like her neighbor who shot and murdered 26 people that day. Po and Deepak discuss: Working with survivors of gun violence to create a sea change in the dialogue about guns Role of revenue from the sales of weapons of war in lobbying for relaxed gun laws Marketing of assault weapons to young people Need for individuals to speak up to their elected officials about the need for an assault weapon ban Lunch lobby sessions to urge Congress and other elected officials to act @NewtownAction @NewtownActionAlliance #EndGunViolence #HonorWithAction #BanAssaultWeapons #BanWeaponsOfWar #GunControl @TheDemLabs Monday Lunch and Lobby sessions: Newtown Action
19:36 4/7/23
Organizing for Civil and Women's Rights with Heather Booth Founder of Jane Cooperative
Heather Booth, Founder of the Jane Cooperative, talks with Deepak Puri about her current work and experience as an early activist in the civil and women's rights movements.  Organizing abortion services In the pre-Roe years and participating in the Freedom Summer Project taught Heather the importance of community and speaking up. As Founder of the Midwest Academy, Heather has influenced and instructed many of the leading Democratic leaders of our time. Heather and Deepak talk about: The history of protesting for civil rights and women's rights The creation of the Jane Collective and the documentary The Janes, and the feature film Call Jane Basics of organizing: members, message, money, and movement Wisconsin Supreme Court election The upcoming 50th anniversary of The Midwest Academy Advice for those who want to make a difference today @hboothgo @thedemlabs #CivilRights #WomensRights #AbortionRights #RoevWade #Dobbs #Organizing #Grassroots #Volunteers #Protests #Protesting #WisconsinSupremeCourt The Janes Call Jane The Midwest Academy Heather Booth playing guitar for Fannie Lou Hammer and others during the Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi in 1964
17:08 4/2/23
Phone Banking Strategies to Get Out the Vote with Susan Pfeiffer
Susan Pfeiffer is an expert at using phone banks to organize and mobilize voters.  As a veteran phone bank volunteer and manager, she explains how her group is working with volunteers to get the vote out for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Election. Deepak Puri interviews Susan and they talk about: Successful phone banking best practices Using phone banking to organize and GOTV The impact from innovations in predictive dialers How volunteers can participate in virtual phone banking  @TheDemLabs #PhoneBanking #GOTV #Organizing #Volunteers #WisconsinSupremeCourt #Canvass
13:42 3/28/23
Political and Advocacy Influence Marketing with Zach Fang Vocal Media
Zach Fang, Head of Sales and Business Development at Vocal Media, is enthusiastic about the opportunities for political and advocacy campaigns to tap into the power of online influencers.  He is also excited about the chances for a diverse community of influencers to have their voices heard and to build stronger communities of interest. We talk about: How influencer marketing is different from other paid media The ways candidates and advocates can work with influencers to produce authentic messages What happens if TikTok is banned What makes someone an influencer The use of filters and lenses to amplify a message across multiple communities @getvocalmedia #TikTok #Influencers #PoliticalAdvertising #InfluencerMarketing #YouTubeShorts #InstagramReels TikTok Instagram  
18:27 3/27/23
Postcarding and Other Political Grassroots Innovations with Andrea Miller Center for Common Ground
Andrea Miller, Center for Common Ground talks with Deepak Puri about grassroots efforts to reach disadvantaged voters and under-represented people to encourage them to vote. With a family background in activism, Andrea is continuing a tradition of providing accurate information about voting and elections. They talk about: Organizing postcarding campaigns by engaging volunteers to send out handwritten postcards to drive registration and GOTV  Using the physical mailing address to bridge the Digital Divide   Turning out the Black and Hispanic vote Voter suppression and removing obstacles to voting The upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court special election @CTR4CmnGround @TheDemLabs #Voters #VoterSuppression #BIPOC #GOTV #Postcarding #CampaignVolunteers #WisconsinSupremeCourt  
18:17 3/21/23