The Challenge

Create voter awareness and support to defeat a popular renewable energy ballot initiative during the 2012 Presidential Election in a state that was a key presidential election state. The challenge was to be heard above the noise created by the Presidential, Senate and House races, as well as multiple highly visible ballot initiatives on an issue that 60 percent of voters supported.

Strategy

Work with a coalition of utility companies and state associations, as part of a team of in-state campaign consultants, to create a comprehensive political campaign to target supportive and persuadable voters, provide them with information about the unintended consequence, and obtain support and action from enough of them to vote against the initiative.

Tactics

The comprehensive campaign included:
• Polling and microtargeting
• Defined target audiences and audience-specific messages
• On-air, print, and digital advertising
• Social media
• Media relations
• Direct mail and telephone outreach to persuadable voters
• Development and communication with a GrassTops and grassroots database created for the campaign, as well as post-campaign, that included local elected officials, business and community leaders and specifically-identified Influential Voters
• Whistle-stop tour
• Ambassadors program to special interest groups

Results

We won. The ballot initiative was defeated on Election Day, 62 percent to 38 percent, reversing the strong support for the proposal at the beginning of the campaign.