Mike Dunleavy: A lesson in adapting to an ever-changing political landscape
Up against 2 formidable foes
i360 client and former State Senator, Mike Dunleavy, was facing a uniquely challenging electoral environment in the race for Alaska governor, running against two formidable opponents – incumbent Governor Bill Walker, the nation’s only Independent state executive, and former U.S. Senator Mark Begich.
Together, i360 and the campaign had crafted and executed a strategy designed specifically to address the three-candidate ballot and convince voters that Dunleavy was the right choice, but a late curve ball was about to change the game.
It’s October 19, 2018, hours before the three Alaska gubernatioral candidates are scheduled to take the stage at an anticipated debate when the Walker campaign made an unforeseen announcement. “Effective today, I am suspending my campaign for the re-election as governor”, declared Walker.
Suddenly and with only 19 days until election day, the Dunleavy campaign was confronted with an entirely new challenge – facing a former U.S. Senator one on one.
”While many consulting firms and campaigns would have been completely thrown off by the last-minute development, the i360 team didn’t blink an eye. Thanks to them, we were able to use the announcement to our advantage by moving faster than our opponent, developing and executing on a new strategy in no time. The entire process was seamless”, said Brett Huber, Campaign Manager of the Dunleavy campaign.
Using i360’s closed-loop systems to build actionable universes
It was time for the campaign to go back to the drawing board to re-strategize, and i360 knew exactly where to start. Using advanced analytics and real-time data, i360 generated a custom Deep Dive of the new political landscape, giving the campaign unique insight into the impact of the latest developments.
Containing updated turnout projections, target universes, demographic analyses and even issue-based targeting groups, the i360 Deep Dive became the new foundation for the Dunleavy campaign’s strategy.
By incorporating the campaign’s polling into the Deep Dive analysis, i360 identified key issues and messages that would resonate with each universe for an ultra-sophisticated, micro-targeted approach. Specifically, an i360 Client Strategist identified that Begich’s support for Alaska Ballot Measure 1 was deeply unpopular with Swing voters. Armed with this information, the Dunleavy campaign highlighted their opposition to the ballot measure in public appearances and media stories.
Thanks to i360’s closed-loop system, these new universes were available for immediate targeting through i360 Call, Walk and Text.
“While many consulting firms and campaigns would have been completely thrown off by the last-minute development, the i360 team didn’t blink an eye. Thanks to them, we were able to use the announcement to our advantage by moving faster than our opponent, developing and executing on a new strategy in no time. The entire process was seamless”, said Brett Huber, Campaign Manager of the Dunleavy campaign.
Making 225,500 voter contacts
The campaign didn’t waste any time activating against the new strategy. In total, the grassroots team made more than 108,000 Calls, knocked on more than 2,500 doors and sent more than 115,000 texts.
The result? With the use of i360’s grassroots tools and agile analytics capabilities, the Dunleavy campaign executed the most aggressive grassroots operation in recent Alaska campaign memory.