The annual Reed Awards by Campaigns & Elections magazine will be announced tonight in Las Vegas, and Talbot Digital has again earned top marks as a finalist in three areas of excellence. In a very tough year for Democrats, we’re proud to have taken the fight to Donald Trump and helped elect leaders like Carol Shea-Porter and Chris Van Hollen. The Reeds recognize the very best work in political campaigning, and Talbot Digital’s 2016 work will be on center stage in Vegas:
Best Use of Online Targeting for Congressional Campaign: Carol Shea-Porter
Beating a Republican incumbent in a district that ultimately supported Trump over Clinton was not going to be easy, and it took a smart, dedicated team: Returning progressive champion Carol Shea-Porter to Congress was a goal we shared with Granite State families, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and The Campaign Group. We ran a savvy digital advertising campaign in NH-01 that would both increase Carol’s name ID and persuade undecided voters in the final weeks of the cycle. Ultimately, Carol Shea-Porter was elected by 1 point: she is the only challenger in the entire country to oust a Republican incumbent in a Trump district.
Best Use of Programmatic Advertising: Trump Traders
In the days after the election, story after story was published on the electoral college: how it’s antiquated, how to fix it, why it’s a problem. During the 2016 cycle, we had the answer: Trump Traders. The Trump Traders project aimed to swap hundreds of thousands of Clinton votes into battleground states and 3rd party votes into safe states. Third parties retained overall votes, and Clinton would get more votes in the states she needed to defeat Trump. We developed a custom data set by applying layers of existing data with proprietary research as well as making field calls to identify 3rd party supporters ready to swap. Programmatic matching and modeling was deployed to engage hundreds of thousands of 3rd party voters in swing states with Clinton voters in safe states. Ultimately, over 46,000 American voters signed up to make a vote trade with a fellow citizen on TrumpTraders.org.
Best Website for Independent Expenditure Campaign: Republicans for Clinton in 2016
Republicans for Clinton in 2016 (R4C16) was a grassroots group of Americans who had spent their lives working with, voting for, and promoting Republican candidates and ideals, but believed that the threat posed by Donald Trump was compelling enough to choose their country over their party in the 2016 election. Because of how rare bipartisanship and crossing party lines has become over the last 8 years, R4C16 needed to appeal to fellow Republicans and media influencers as a leading, legitimate, safe and inviting space: the optimal place for making the right kind of smart, effective announcements that would connect with moderate Republicans, and organizing discussions/events that gave voice to this unique group of leaders. In early August the R4C16 site launched, with simple email, volunteer and pledge signup forms. As the #NeverTrump movement began to swell, it became increasingly important to convert that audience to Clinton-voting Republicans. R4C16 started out with two official endorsers, and grew to 43 Republican policy makers, business leaders, and dedicated public servants that supported R4C16’s efforts.
More Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Barack Obama in 2012, despite her high negatives and despite the not-so-subtle threats from the new GOP leader. The number of Republicans voting for Clinton moved from 4% during the convention to 7% at the polls. R4C16.org was ultimately selected by Library of Congress to be preserved in the national archives for its importance to the historical record.