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Independent Expenditure Case Study:

Using Coalition Building & Omni-Channel Outreach to Win a State Senate Race

REAL Strategies worked with multiple coalition partners to run an aggressive General Election Independent Expenditure campaign on behalf of an incumbent State Senator running for re-election. The campaign spent over $1 Million in an effort to win a race that had the odds stacked against it from the start.


The incumbent candidate was running as a middle-of-the-road Democrat in a liberal state against another more-progressive Democrat that was endorsed by the state’s Governor. The state has nonpartisan blanket primary elections, which led to the Democrat vs. Democrat General Election matchup.


The matchup presented numerous challenges from the start; however, the incumbent candidate had a strong track record on business community issues, which presented a unique opportunity to build a solid coalition for an independent expenditure effort. The coalition consisted of both business and community leaders from across the political spectrum that represented a diverse assortment of PACs, organizations, and corporate partners.


The coalition worked together to target the right audiences with the right message from the right messenger. Together with the various coalition partners, REAL Strategies played an integral role in carrying out a large omni-channel outreach campaign that included the following components:



  • REAL Strategies provided data for 114,348 coalition partner mail pieces.

  • Our program sent 138,562 pieces.

  • TOTAL: 252,910 pieces of mail



  • The campaign received 7,002,997 static ad impressions.

  • These impressions resulted in 4,442 clicks.



  • The campaign received 3,415,612 pre-roll video ad impressions.

  • The impressions resulted in 2,661 clicks.



  • The campaign included three rounds of texting.

  • Over the course of these three rounds, we sent out 26,519 text messages.



  • We sent out a total of 27,424 robo-calls.



  • The campaign included three flights of live calls.

  • These three flights included a total of 59,203 phone calls.


The campaign also included a field canvassing program and surveys undertaken by other coalition partners to track campaign progress. The large-scale outreach enabled the incumbent to overcome the odds and make it an extremely close race, all the way to the finish. As an all Vote by Mail state, if ballots are rejected, there is a period before ballots are certified to “rehab” those that were rejected. In tandem with the large-scale outreach program, we also ran an absolutely vital rehab program, utilizing field and phone operations plus volunteers.


Combining forces with other key stakeholders to form a powerful coalition, we were able to undertake a large scale omni-channel outreach campaign that, combined with a savvy ballot rehab program, was able to overcome the odds and deliver a narrow victory.


Out of over 97,000 votes cast, the incumbent candidate won by 56 votes. 

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