By Chris Lehane and Tomicah Tillemann
At Haun Ventures, our belief that we need new rules for new things is central to our advocacy for web3. For over a decade, many in the crypto community have focused on effecting change through engagement with the executive branch of government. As we head into a new chapter for the space—a moment in which a myriad of new use cases beyond finance are emerging—it is the other two branches of government, the legislative and the judiciary, that will feature prominently in whether or not the United States remains a global leader in technology and innovation. That’s why we’re closely tracking legislation making its way through Congress that has the potential to set new rules designed for bleeding edge technologies and provide clarity for builders. It’s also why, as a team, we’re turning our focus to the upcoming midterm elections. Specifically, we want to help political leaders on both sides of the aisle understand the growing constituency that cares deeply about the corrosive effects of Big Tech and Big Finance – challenges that web3 is uniquely positioned to address.
In November, a handful of key races in swing states will likely determine the makeup of the Congress that will be poised to establish new rules for the next generation of the internet. Today, we are sharing a recent poll commissioned by Haun Ventures and conducted by Morning Consult of likely 2022 midterm voters in four key swing states that surveyed voters’ views on web3 and how they might impact their vote.
In particular, we wanted to understand how the values of web3 resonate with voters, as the values voters attribute to an issue will drive electoral choices. The findings from the poll make clear that over 90% of voters express support for an internet that is community owned, community governed, and gives people greater control over their information. Significantly, and reflective of how the values that voters associate with web3 will drive electoral behavior, voters are less likely to support candidates perceived as standing in the way of a decentralized internet. In other words, as both parties consider how good web3 policy will translate into good politics, the values of web3 are what voters want to see elected officials supporting, not standing in the way of.
The poll also found that nearly one in five voters own digital assets. To put that number in perspective, there are now far more people in each of these swing states that hold digital assets than a union membership.
In the swing states we surveyed, these “Web3 Voters’” lean slightly Democratic, but this issue remains largely bipartisan. On the whole, Web3 Voters believe a decentralized, democratized internet represents economic opportunity, and they see web3 as a positive alternative to Big Tech platforms. However, at the same time, these Web3 Voters have limited faith in the government’s ability to build an appropriate regulatory approach for web3.
This poll makes it clear that in these swing states, Web3 Voters now represent a significant cohort of the middle class electorate, and are younger and more diverse than the population as a whole.
As web3 products and innovations become ever more widespread, and the perils of our current tech paradigm, including the erosion of privacy, data security, and trust, become more evident, we anticipate that even more voters will recognize what is at stake in shaping rules for web3.
Below, we dig into specifics on five major take-aways from the poll:
1. Nearly one in five voters own digital assets.
18% of voters across these four swing states hold digital assets.
Given the adoption curve of web3, this is likely as small as the Web3 Voter bloc will ever be.
2. Voters across the political spectrum are more likely to oppose candidates who stand in the way of a decentralized internet.
55% of voters surveyed would be less likely to vote for candidates who oppose policies that enable web3 (defined as a decentralized, open, internet where people have more control over their data).
What’s particularly compelling about these findings is that voter sentiment regarding web3 tends to be bipartisan, with independents expressing the strongest views in favor of web3.
91% of voters hold a favorable view of the principles of web3 as described above.
3. Voters view web3 as both a response to an unfair economic system and a positive alternative to Big Tech monopolies.
60% of voters in these swing states view the current economic system as unfair and failing everyday Americans.
75% of voters agree that Big Tech has too much power over people’s lives, and favor greater individual autonomy and digital decentralization.
72% of voters who own digital assets say they do so because they want an economic system that is more democratized, fair, and works for more people.
In three of the four states surveyed, NV, OH, and PA, over 40% of respondents who hold digital assets said that they use them to facilitate international remittance (managing of global cross border payment transactions).
4. Neither party garners a majority of support from Web3 Voters for its approach to the technology, however, voters lean slightly towards supporting Democratic Senate candidates.
5. The Web3 Voter is middle class and represents a younger, more diverse voting demographic.
80% of the Web3 Voters have incomes under $100k.
31% of Web3 Voters are people of color compared to 15% of all voters.
65% are between the ages of 18-44 compared to 30% of all voters.
The Morning Consult poll surveyed 800 likely November 2022 voters across New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania from September 15th to 20th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all swing states combined, and plus or minus 6.9 percentage points between states. These states were selected as swing states when it comes to both competitive senate races and states with a number of House districts considered toss ups.