case studies

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

After the tragedy in Tucson, we led a research team for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, overseeing projects in several states and nationally to encourage common-sense gun law reform. Our findings have been covered around the country, and have been the foundation for the post-Newtown national effort to pass stronger gun laws. We’ve also studied all the public polling, and blogged about our findings.

Successful Young Progressive Candidates 2010

Some of our biggest successes in 2010 were with young candidates. We worked with Hans Riemer, a new at-large County Councilmember in Montgomery County, Maryland. We worked with Tim Kennedy’s upset of both a longtime Democratic incumbent and a son of a popular former Congressman (in Carl Paladino’s home district, no less). Kennedy went on to vote for the historic passage of gay marriage in New York. We helped Maryland State Senator Victor Ramirez unseat a Democratic incumbent and become the only Salvadoran elected official in the country. Ramirez went on to lead the successful effort to pass the DREAM Act in Maryland. Lastly, while unsuccessful, we helped Reshma Saujani in her energetic race for Congress, and she now continues her public service in the Public Advocate’s office. What distinguished all these candidates from their competition was a strong field effort, as all of them loved meeting voters personally. And candidate enthusiasm inspired both team enthusiasm and voter enthusiasm. Polling helped identify ways these candidates could use their youth, energy, and personal stories as strengths, but while still ultimately focusing on the needs of these diverse districts.

In Defense of Unmarried Women, 2008

As a woman-owned firm we have personally devoted considerable energy to studying how to best talk to and about women. For example, in an effort to understand women, some inadvertently trivialize them by worrying about a turnout problem among women, or that women see voting as “too difficult.” Others paint a caricature of single women of cosmo-swilling, yoga-going elites, when that is naturally a small percentage of America’s single women. By examining census data, we discovered that the “marriage gap” in turnout is actually far larger among men, and single men vote far less frequently than do single women. We corrected the record, writing here, here, and here, and our work has been quoted in news outlets around the country.

Chris Carney vs. Don Sherwood (PA-10) 2006

In 2005, Republican Congressman Don Sherwood made national news because of a domestic violence incident with a woman not his wife. Public polling suggested, however, that the Republican-leaning district was not inclined to vote against their longtime Congressman. In April of 2006, Momentum Analysis conducted a survey for Chris Carney, then a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve, and a professor at Penn State. While he lacked the notoriety of the incumbent, Carney came within the margin of error in the horserace. The poll?s release put the race on handicappers radars, and by the Election Day PA-10 was a top targeted pickup. Further, much of the public press about the incident either downgraded it to adultery, or openly mocked the victim. Our creative ad testing methodology allowed us to examine the subject of domestic violence, in a way that was both clear yet respectful. We received no complaints about the tone of our advertising (other than from the Sherwood campaign).

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