Post-Election 2018 Trends and Takeaways
We’re a brand new company, born during this election cycle—and we’re just getting started. In the 2018 midterms, our talented team of campaigners got to put their decades of political and digital experience to work for a wide array of clients, tackling everything from voter registration, persuasion and mobilization, to increasing voting rights, to helping candidates build more sophisticated digital infrastructure, storytelling, and fundraising operations online.
And what happened?
Women, younger people, and people of color led a wave that took back Democratic control of the U.S. House and brought fresh leadership to all levels of government nationwide—and we know they represent the future of progressive politics.
We are so proud of our team’s role in the historic elections of three of these inspiring candidates:
- Lauren Underwood in IL-14
- Elissa Slotkin in MI-08
- Lina Hidalgo for Harris County Judge
And we’re thrilled to have worked with teams like Swing Left and VoteRunLead to help turn the midterms into a national statement.
And although these clients didn’t get the outcomes we’d hoped for, we were honored to fight alongside Amy McGrath in KY-06, Jenny Wilson for Utah Senate, Jill Schiller in OH-02, and Jessica Morse in CA-04—all of whom are female candidates who fought for our shared values and mounted competitive campaigns in tough districts.
These candidates and many others were supported by emerging and established nonprofit organizations working to get out the vote nationwide. These programs helped create the groundbreaking turnout seen nationally among millennials, minorities and women.
We’re proud to have worked with organizations all across the country who focused on online and offline voter engagement in battleground districts and states—organizations such as (deep breath, this is a long list): Unidos US, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Organize Florida, New FL Majority, Progress Now New Mexico, Better Idaho, Advancement Project, NAACP, Black Economic Alliance, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Everytown for Gun Safety, MoveOn, Blue Wave Voters, #WeBuiltThis, iVote, and RockTheVote.
We’re still unpacking all the ins and outs of what we learned this cycle. There are lessons that can inform the work ahead for us all in Election 2019/2020 and Census 2020. So stay tuned for more from us very soon. But here are a few initial topline takeaways:
1. The most effective campaigns invest in digital.
Making early, smart, and significant investments in digital content, infrastructure AND ads that will help you…
- Build your brand, authentic identity, and core message frame
- Build an engaged community both locally and nationally
- More effectively reach, persuade, and mobilize voters you could be missing with only traditional communications
2. When women and people of color lead, we win.
Women and POC fueled victories across the country, in ALL capacities: as candidates, voters, volunteers, staff, AND consultants.
We have to sustain this beyond this cycle to keep winning — and as a female-owned and female led company who is majority people of color, we are both passionate and personally committed to that, and able to bring this strategic perspective to our work
3. Authenticity and respect for your supporters really matters.
When you talk to people like real humans (not ATMs!), you build a relationship that pays dividends when you need your supporters the most. It’s not just the right thing to do, it WORKS. Programs that go out of their way to develop thoughtful content and inspire people consistently raised more money and engaged more volunteers in key moments than cookie-cutter programs that try to guilt and scare people into action.
4. For our movement to win, we need nonprofits to catch up.
This is a big one. Not enough of the biggest players in progressive politics are using social media, email, or digital ads effectively and at scale. And we urgently need them to in order to reach the communities we need to win. They need better, smarter, more modern tech infrastructures — and FAST. (Spoiler alert: We can help.)
5. A new day is dawning in America and we are poised for bigger victories ahead.
A wave wasn’t a thing that happened on Election Day—it was the beginning of something much more transformational that will bring new voters and new candidates into the political process.
We can’t wait to Do Big Things with candidates and nonprofits who see that the future is both digital and diverse. Join us!