In today’s political environment where “cash is king”, how can progressives stand up against the CEOs and big corporate interests with such overwhelmingly deep pockets?
The answer? Using sophisticated, cutting-edge technology to engage swing voters in innovative ways.
In 2010, progressives in California faced the most well-funded gubernatorial candidate in history in Meg Whitman. Yet, despite dropping more than $170 million on the election (outspending Brown plus all of his allies by a margin of at least five-to-one), Whitman lost to Jerry Brown by a whopping 13 points. And, in a year defined by Republican victories across the nation, every other down-ticket California Democrat for statewide office also won in an historic clean sweep. That’s no small feat!
One of the key reasons for Whitman's defeat was labor’s sophisticated microtargeting program to identify swing voters and communicate with them on the issues they care about using a convergence of online, field, direct mail and traditional media.
Building off President Obama’s successful use of microtargeting in 2008, the Labor Federation took that technology one step further and combined it with a number of complementary tactics that played a large role in Brown’s overwhelmingly victory.
In an era of Citizens United and virtually unlimited corporate spending, microtargeting programs like ours can allow progressives to spend their resources more wisely while engaging voters more deeply on issues. Now is the time to share what we’ve learned to help other worker advocates and progressives to help them achieve the same and sort of victories in 2012.
That’s why we’re hosting a first-of-its-kind panel discussion on the California model of microtargeting at this year’s Netroots Nation conference, a massive annual gathering of hundreds of tech-driven progressives from across the country, taking place this year on June 16-19th in Minneapolis. Informed by the California experience, a diverse group of experts who were intimately involved in the microtargeting campaign will join the “Microtargeting to Win: Lessons from California” panel to discuss how using the latest technology, combined with a targeted communications program reaching voters across a variety of traditional and new media with messages tailored to their concerns, will be critical to progressive victories around the country in 2012.
Moderated by California Labor Federation Communications Director Steve Smith, the panel at Netroots will feature longtime field organizer Tracy Zeluff of Groundworks Campaigns, new media advertising expert Michael Organ of AKPD Message and Media, direct mail guru Douglas Herman of the Strategy Group and California Labor Federation Political Director Bryan Blum, one of the chief architects of the “Million More Voters” microtargeting campaign.
If you’re curiosity is piqued and you’d like to learn more, we hope you’ll join us on Thursday, June 16th at 9am at the Minneapolis Convention Center, room L100 AB. It’s not too late to register for this year’s Netroots Nation conference! Learn more and register here.
And if you can’t make it to Minneapolis this week, you can keep up with all the conference highlight and find updates at www.netrootsnation.org, or on Twitter by following the hashtag #NN11.