Identified Areas Of Need In The Republican Campaign Tech Ecosystem [2024]


Political campaigns have always sought to harness the power of new technology to gain any possible competitive advantage over their opponents. The rapidly evolving pace of software in our current era has made keeping up with these advancements more challenging.

It is imperative that Republicans and their allies have access to the latest campaign technology to ensure we remain competitive in 2024 and beyond. As the home of campaign tech innovation on the Right, Startup Caucus invests in new companies and mentors entrepreneurs working to bring these advancements to market.

As the 2024 election season begins in earnest, we’ve identified several key areas of need for development in the Republican software marketplace. In this document, we describe opportunities for entrepreneurs, technologists, startups, and mature firms to build new technology that will give Republican candidates and their allies an edge in close elections.

Event Management

Participation in an offline campaign event, such as a rally or meet-and-greet, is a key indicator of a voter’s interest in a candidate and can serve as a gateway event to volunteer or donate. Republican campaigns have typically relied on a variety of tools, including commercial platforms like Eventbrite, to create event RSVP pages. Rarely does this valuable data get fully synchronized within a campaign’s tech stack or the broader voter data ecosystem.

Republican campaigns need a purpose-built event management platform that creates landing pages, collects RSVPs, integrates with WinRed for donations, and syncs with a campaign’s voter file to improve the overall long-term value of campaign-sponsored events. Incorporating events more fully into the campaign’s broader tech stack will ensure that these voters and their contact data is leveraged for maximum impact.

Media Planning, Forecasting & Budgeting

A campaign’s media advertising spend is usually its most significant expenditure. As linear TV continues to reach fewer voters at higher cost, campaigns are turning to streaming services and other digital platforms to achieve the necessary reach and frequency of campaign messages.

Decision makers face the difficult task of optimizing their media budget across multiple audiences and dozens of channels. They need additional media planning, forecasting, and budgeting software to build the most effective advertising plan possible. Key questions revolve around how much budget should be allocated to the broad array of available channels used by targeted campaign audiences.  

Content Creation

A modern voter’s information diet is made up of a unique combination of social media feeds, podcasts, email newsletters, YouTube channels, and group messages in addition to legacy media formats. Campaigns do not have the resources – budget or bandwidth – to create enough content to cut through all of these channels.

New, AI-powered tools for creators make it easier to repurpose and syndicate content across multiple channels, but campaigns need additional guidance and significant scrutiny on the use of AI in politics limits the effectiveness of certain tools in a campaign context.

Republican campaigns need access to AI-powered software that can generate text, graphics, audio, and video for a variety of platforms, including email, web, and social media.

More Efficient Fundraising

Republicans continue to lag behind their Democratic counterparts when it comes to hard dollar (candidate committee) fundraising. In post-election surveys, this advantage has manifested itself in better TV ad recall, more voter contact, and more favorable images for Democratic candidates. There are a handful of areas where Republicans can improve the efficiency of their fundraising efforts to ensure more dollars go to voter contact instead of the cost to fundraise.

Co-operative List Building & Sharing

Many campaigns rely on brokers to provide email and SMS lists for fundraising. Unfortunately, these brokers charge a significant premium to make use of their lists, which can reduce the overall net funds a campaign receives. For example, a $1,000 contribution made via one of these lists may only result in $300 ultimately reaching the campaign. By working together, campaigns could still enjoy the benefits of reaching out to known donors without diverting much-needed dollars to list brokers.

Similarly, software that makes the brokering marketplace more automated, transparent, and efficient, could help reduce the costs associated with renting fundraising lists.

Donation Reattribution

Each election cycle, millions of dollars worth of donor funds that exceed federal contribution limits are returned to the U.S. Treasury through a process known as “disgorgement.” If an individual contributes more than the legal amount to a candidate, the campaign must either seek reattribution to a spouse or adult child or refund the donation. When these refund checks go undeposited, the funds are eventually sent to the federal government.

This process diverts much-needed campaign funds from candidates that need them. Additionally, campaigns may pay fundraising commissions on the excess contributions. Tools that help prevent excess contributions, make the reattribution process more effective, or facilitate diverting funds to other campaigns will keep millions of hard dollars in the campaign ecosystem each cycle.

Digital Campaign Surrogate Management

In the fragmented media landscape, campaigns increasingly rely on content creators and digital influencers to reach voters, drive turnout, and promote key messages. New tools that help campaigns identify digital campaign surrogates, communicate with them, and measure their impact will enhance the effectiveness of this emerging campaign strategy.

Campaigns need a platform for empowering content creators and other digital influencers to be a more synchronized part of their team.

New Campaign Fundraising Models

The growth of the creator economy and prevalence of influencer marketing has ushered in a new category of platforms that facilitate recurring micropayments from a creator’s fans. Digital influencers are using platforms like Patreon, Substack, and Only Fans to earn a living without the need for traditional advertising.

There are significant opportunities to drive efficiencies with existing campaign fundraising methods, but new fundraising models inspired by these creator economy tools will empower campaigns to get the resources they need while avoiding the perverse incentives of existing online fundraising models.

Republican campaigns need tools purpose built with campaign compliance in mind that facilitate recurring micropayments in exchange for campaign updates, content, communities, and other perks. This will better position Republican candidates to meet supporters’ expectations about interacting with celebrities.  

More Affordable Survey Research

Live interview polling conducted via phone calls remains the gold standard for political survey research, but rising wages and declining response rates make these polls more expensive and increasingly out of reach for many campaigns. Mixed mode polling that includes online surveys are helping to fill the gap, but the difficulty of reaching representative samples continue to drive up costs.

Republican campaigns need new software-enabled methods of gaining insights about voter sentiment that make survey research more affordable, especially for down ballot races with smaller electorates. Innovations in methodology, panel recruitment, and financing of surveys would empower more campaigns to get accurate data, make better informed decisions, and win more races.

Absentee Ballot & Early Voting Tracking

Republicans are placing a special emphasis on improving their absentee ballot and early voting performance in the wake of COVID-era measures that broadened the adoption of these methods. Surveys indicate a significant portion of Republican voters distrust the vote by mail process.

In addition to software that makes, where eligible, the absentee ballot request process more efficient for campaigns and convenient for voters, we believe the development of tools that assist voters in tracking the lifecycle of their absentee ballot can establish trust in vote by mail.

Software that notifies a voter throughout the process, including after their ballot is recorded post-election in the voter file, can boost Republican voters’ confidence in vote by mail and boost the effectiveness of GOP absentee ballot strategies.

Empower Grassroots Donors

In addition to making campaigns’ fundraising more efficient, individual donors would benefit from tools that ensure their funds are reaching the right campaigns, making the most impact, and reduce the loss of funds to fundraising expenses. With a software-enabled process, such a platform would give donors the confidence of donating to campaigns with minimal transaction fees.


This document summarizing the identified areas of need in Republican campaign technology is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is based on our research findings and learnings from campaigners working on the front lines of the most competitive races. Indeed, there are some cases where developments are being made in these areas, but more entrants into the market boosts the ecosystem wide adoption of needed tools.

Individuals or companies interested in working on any of these areas of identified need are encouraged to contact Eric Wilson, Managing Partner of Startup Caucus,