Wright County's elections were a new experience to many in the area, but not to our experts at DG Digital. With over 52,000 votes cast in the 2018 Sheriff's election, there was a 23.8% increase from the next largest voter turnout in Wright County History. Taking into account there had only been variances of 2% to 4% since 2000, this was the most contested race in Wright County history by a significant margin.
In the primary, we also saw a 173% voter participation increase as well as a 500% increase in fundraising from past cycles for Sheriff. In the end, the campaign came within a 5% margin of victory, making it one of the closest margins in Wright County.
How We Did It
Like all of our clients, we began with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign. Early on it became clear that we were the strongest candidate from a qualifications standpoint, so the decision was made to message on experience in addition to Sean's initiatives he would pursue as Wright County Sheriff.
From there we did not have to waiver on our message. We had painted a clear distinction from the rest of the candidates, all while staying positive.
After defining our strong message, the opposition was required to create their own distinction to motivate their base and attract an opposition to the polls. This led to negative attacks on our candidate's character and lodging a wedge of distrust in the Sheriff's Office, as we had predicted.
While the opposition's campaign focused on negative attacks we had already begun working ahead on our fundraising and voter contact efforts.
An aggressive approach was taken to establish a door knocking data program to track our progress. By analyzing and utilizing the data we were able to not only determine the precincts to target but every individual voter in those precincts based on consumer and voter propensity data.
From there on, we only needed to maintain our position of strength and follow up with our GOTV program from data we collected from over 7,500 households across Wright County.
While many waited anxiously for results to come through, our staff sat easily having already made an accurate prediction of a 4% to 10% margin of victory based on our data.
Samples Of Our Work
Throughout Sean's campaign, we dealt with most of the campaign functions including fundraising, social media management, print marketing, graphic design, and messaging. After taking the reigns our team increased social engagement by nearly 300% with 88% of that being organic reach.
We were able to accomplish this by strategically utilizing community post groups, email chains from our base, and other centers of influences networks. Despite being outspent on social media 3:1 we turned in double the engagement of opposition campaigns, showing that content is still king.
Much of our content was revolved around showing our candidates level of experience through endorsements of trusted community members, but also articulating the family and community man behind the scenes. Humanizing our credentials was a key part of our messaging that helped put doubt into the minds of the negative attacks, which had a great effect on the campaign.