Targeted demographic groups were the key to victory.

1. Identifying Key Groups

We knew early on that a few key demographic groups would be necessary to a victory.

WOMEN: We did not need to win women, but we did need to close the gender gap.
—We conducted women-focused survey research to assess attitudes and develop messaging.

BLACKS: Donald Trump performed better than most Republicans had with Black voters; we needed to maintain and improve on those gains.
—We built Black-only models to find voters who would agree with us on key issues.

HISPANICS & ASIANS: While smaller percentages of the overall electorate, we needed to improve on past Republican margins with all minority segments.
—We focused grassroots efforts and executed paid-media efforts in voters’ native languages.

2. Crafting the Analytic Models

These models guided our voter targeting efforts at every level, from door to door, to texting, to digital, to mail.

With the Youngkin for Governor campaign, we built analytic models immediately following the nominating contest and refreshed them in August.

To build a winning coalition of voters, we identified 12 targeting segments and worked with the campaign to build an outreach plan for each audience. Every segment was prioritized and spoken to in the most efficient way possible.

3. Final Message Testing

As polling showed weak spots with specific groups, we went back to the messaging testing to find what messages to use to bring voters back to our side.

Throughout the summer we used survey research and focus groups to find the most effective messages for each of the target universes and began custom outreach efforts.

While our efforts targeting Independent women voters were working over the summer, by early October, these voters showed signs of shifting toward McAuliffe. We kept our TV messages focused on education, but we knew Independent women responded well to cost of living issues and used targeted digital to re-deliver our grocery tax repeal message.

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