In 2018, Wisconsin Democrats finally defeated Scott Walker, a governor best-known for stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. In a state that supported Trump in 2016 and where Republicans still control the legislature, the state elected Tony Evers by expanding the electorate with a focus on issues that included transportation infrastructure, public education, and reducing healthcare costs.
To help boost turnout, DSPolitical developed a targeted campaign to reach voters who were more likely to support the Evers campaign across multiple media. Because broadcast media is expensive in Wisconsin, DSPolitical layered the Newsfeeders and Networkers models to target digital ads to voters with a higher propensity to get their news from social media, family, and the internet. These models were a great way to target media mixes based on individuals’ media consumption and to create demographic profiles of the people most engaged with specific types of media.
DSPolitical then cut the list and focused on capturing two geographical audiences in Wisconsin which included voters who lived within the Minnesota media markets and were, therefore, less likely to see Wisconsin political media coverage or campaign ads. DSPolitical was able to run video advertisements to the audiences to make sure they were getting campaign messages that there were not seeing on TV.
A strong programmatic targeting effort helped change the direction of the state after eight years under Walker and deliver perhaps the biggest gubernatorial win for Democrats in 2018 along with other legislative wins.