Case Study: Optimizing Campaign Messaging with Key Voting Demographics

The Problem

In fall 2022, the Data & Analytics team at Precision Strategies was managing a consulting team working on Governor Jared Polis’ reelection campaign in Colorado. The team was working on determining the most effective and persuasive messaging for the final stage of the closely-contested election, and were in need of a new solution to test messages among specific demographics.

“We knew, based on changing demographics in the state, that the Latino audience would be a key audience or a key voting bloc, and that through traditional polling that we had access to, the sample sizes of Latino voters was just really small,” said a member of the team. “So there weren’t really as good insights we could draw from that in terms of what types of messages we wanted to serve.”

They needed an easy-to-use, affordable, and fast data solution to find the most effective messages for Latino voters in Colorado.

The Solution: Rapid Message Testing

Precision’s Data & Analytics team used Rapid Message Testing to quickly set-up and run an accurate, scientific test to inform their paid and earned communications strategy among Latinos in Colorado. They tested the persuasive power of climate, affordable housing, education, and economic messages with over 2,000 Latino voters in less than one week.

The economic message performed the best – increasing Governor Polis’ vote share of Latinos by 9 percentage points – while the other tested messages didn’t appear to move the needle with voters. Precision then deployed the winning economic message in paid TV ads and in communications delivered to Latino communities across Colorado.

Rapid Message Testing gave the Precision team an affordable, data-driven solution to optimize communications efforts that was not available in previous election cycles. “I don’t think the messages would have been as tailored to our state-specific Latino population without Rapid Message Testing”, one member said. “I think it just helped to really hone in on that specific audience.”

The Impact

Governor Polis won reelection by nearly 20 points, and reports found that Latino voters backed Polis by a rough 2:1 margin, even as Republicans campaigned aggressively for their support.

Precision also partially credits their Rapid Message Testing results for success in down ballot races. Democrats won a closely-contested Congressional election by less than 1 point and also increased their majorities in the State House and State Senate. “I was happy with the fact that this was something we chose to invest in and be smart about,” remarked one member. “Especially with those down ballot effects.”

Working with Grow Progress

Grow Progress’ platform makes message testing easy for firms and campaigns on tight timelines. “We can tell clients with good authority that within a week, we can get a test up and running and get the results.”

Of the overall experience, the Data & Analytics team reported that working with the Grow Progress client strategy team was positive, and that Precision plans to continue using these tools on future campaigns. “The ease of it all helps being able to say to the client, ‘This is it, we have all the data supported, that’s what you need to know.’ And they trust having data to back up key decisions.”