Ballot Initiatives & Referendum

We haven’t lost?a
statewide ballot initiative
in 18 years.

Time and time again, we have beaten back well-funded opponents to win both ?Vote No? and ?Vote Yes? statewide ballot initiatives.

We were the first in the nation to beat a Right-to-Work ballot initiative in 33 years.

We have won initiatives overcoming an initial poll of 75% against us (as was the case for stem cell research initiative and an Energy Affordability campaign).

We?ve passed and defeated major league sporting stadium initiatives across the country.

And we?ve won ballot initiatives to prevent cuts to education, reform the tax code, enable mass transit, stop school vouchers, gaming, and hospitals.

From the impossible to the complicated,
we know how to win the toughest initiative campaigns

Our unique approach to winning ballot initiative starts?with these four fundamentals:

1. Listen & Break the Code
Every campaign has a unique dynamic that has to be unlocked or ?broken? like a code. That code defines how groups of targeted voters view the campaign. To break the code requires spending the time to understand a ballot measure?s unique strengths and vulnerabilities. That moment of understanding often occurs in the form of an ?Aha,? when a voter in a focus group says something that gets right to the heart of a message.

2. Frame the Issue on Your Terms.
Sometimes 3 points of simple straightforward information delivered in a clear and low-key manner can be the most effective way to set up a surge of voter movement. If you allow your opponent to define the rules of the debate you’ll be running against the wind for the entire campaign.

3. Personalize an Issue through Storytelling
Storytelling creates a powerful bond between your campaign and the voters. It is what is lacking in so many campaigns today where flat, one- dimensional ads all begin to look alike. Storytelling has the power to transform a ballot issue from an abstraction into a reality that?s unique, personal and moving for voters

4. Don?t Move Voters Too Fast
Too many ballot initiative campaigns immediately want to move voters who are against them to being for them. The truth is that most voters need to be moved first to the undecided category. If you try to skip that step and push too hard, you risk never moving the voters at all.

Here are a few of the many successful ballot initiatives and referendum campaigns we’ve won:

NO Votes:

Anti-home sharing measures a.k.a. “The AirBnB initiative” (No on Prop F in San Francisco)
School vouchers (three times)
Statewide energy mandate
Special Exemption Loopholes (No on CA 32)
Major league sports stadiums
Ban on Bilingual Education (No on CO 31)
Constitutional Convention in New York
Against Higher Phone Rates in Arizona

YES Votes:

Stem Cell Research
NFL & MLB professional stadiums
Complex tax reform
Regional Mass?Transit
Light Rail
Tribes for Responsible Gaming
Riverboat Gambling in Missouri
Public Safety in Florida
New Hospital Expansion