MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE: AN 81% Campaign Success Rate

IWV OUTREACH AND EDUCATION INITIATIVES HAD AN ENORMOUS IMPACT in races where free market conservative candidates were experiencing difficulties in communicating the benefits of free markets and personal liberty.  IWV made sure that voters had the information they needed on the issues that matter most so that they could make smart choices about nation’s leadership and the direction of our country. 

In the last six years, of the 27 races where IWV launched major educational initiatives, the candidate or ballot initiative associated with giving individuals choices and opportunity succeeded in 22 races.  Of course we can’t take all the credit and wouldn’t want to.  But still, that’s an 81% success rate in helping our fellow citizens make informed decisions that are right for them, which makes us rather proud!

Here are some highlights:


KY Governor – The Republican Governor’s Association pulled out two weeks before the race.  We looked and saw that Kentucky citizens deserved to know about how Obamacare was hurting families in their state.  IWV shared information with Kentucky citizens about this harmful law over the last week of the campaign.  Despite polls showing Jack Conway with a five-point lead, Matt Bevin, who had signed our pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare, started doing better.  The RGA came back in, and Bevin won the election 53 percent to 44 percent, with a commanding 85,000 vote margin.

CA SD-07 Special Election – IWV likes to help candidates who fight for their constituents for better government and would be more likely to advance sensible policies that advance the interests of the citizens rather than self-serving union bosses, so we supported Democrat Steve Glazer, helping him to prevail in a special election for a vacant East Bay Senate seat in California.  Of course the unions immediately went to their playbook and falsely asserted once again that we’re funded by the Koch’s (yes, it gets old) in order to crank up their own donations.  But despite that, Bay area voters still got the candidate who represented their interests, and we were happy to help.


Senate Races - IWV devoted its major expenditures to 8 key states by providing residents with fact-based insights and information about how free market solutions and greater personal liberty can help families like theirs.  These better informed citizens elected 7 out of 8 conservative candidates who they felt would best represent and support them and their interests.


VA Governor –Virginians deserved to know about how health care in their state would be affected by the election of a new Governor.  IWV focused on educating the public about the problems with ObamaCare, and Ken Cuccinelli—the candidate who supports repealing and replacing ObamaCare—closed the gap to just over 2 points.

SC-01 House Special Election – Every other group thought this race couldn’t be won by the conservative candidate Mark Sanford, who had signed our Repeal Pledge on the Affordable Care Act.  IWV educated district residents about the importance of the issues at stake in this race for people like them—with its implications on national health care, economic and regulatory policy, and jobs.  The result was the election of another supporter of better policies and a brighter future for Americans.  


2012 WI Governor Recall – There was so much misinformation about the policies being promoted by Governor Scott Walker that IWV stepped in to inform Wisconsin residents about the facts about public sector union compensation.  Research showed that these facts and IWV’s educational messages had a power impact, moving Independents +31 points. We deployed the results and contributed to a Scott Walker win and the continuation of positive, needed changes for the inhabitants of Wisconsin.

IN GOP Senate Primary – Indiana citizens deserved to know which candidate was truly committed to creating a better health care system by repealing and replacing ObamaCare.  IWV knew that Challenger Richard Mourdock had signed the Repeal Pledge, while Richard Lugar refused. IWV informed the people of this difference, contributing to a victory for Mourdock as a champion of improving our nation’s health care system.

NE GOP Senate Primary  -- Nebraskans needed information about which candidate would create a better health care system by repealing and replacing ObamaCare.  Deb Fischer signed IWV’s Repeal Pledge, and IWV made sure that Nebraskans knew that she would be a champion for needed health care reforms. We were gratified to discover in after-action surveys that her having signed IWV’s Obamacare Repeal Pledge, which we’d promoted in our independent expenditure during the closing week of the campaign, was the single biggest reason for her upset win.

NC, VA, OH Presidential – IWV wanted Americans to make informed decisions about the best public policies for our country.  IWV highlighted important facts about our economy, taxes, and health care system.  And, though the race was ultimately a loss, our research showed that an additional 21 percentage points of Independents who recalled the IWV educational messaging voted for Mitt Romney.


WI Supreme Court - IWV recognized that Independents and many women were simply being ignored during this special election in this battle that was going have major impact on the public policy direction of Wisconsin.  IWV made 700,000 calls to these neglected, important citizens about the policy choices at hand, and helped get a better outcome in a race that was decided by only 7,000 votes.

NY-09 – After Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace, voters in this heavily Democratic New York district not only wanted a candidate who didn’t abuse his cell phone, but wanted to send a message about issues facing the country.  IWV took this opportunity to start a conversation with these voters and helped them be heard through the election of Bob Turner.

OH Health Care Freedom Amendment –Ohioans had the opportunity to voice their desire for a better health care system.  IWV made sure that Ohio citizens were aware of the issue and the stakes of this contest.  While Gov. Kasich’s union referendum lost 2 to 1, our messaging effort took this ballot initiative from tossup or worse to a 2 to 1 win with the same electorate.


MA Senate Special Election - IWV changed the framework of the race by making it a fight for the 41st vote against the Affordable Care Act. Our efforts helped move women +21 points for a Scott Brown win.

HI-01 Special Election - IWV’s effort, the only independent expenditure in this race, moved Independent women +18 points and resulted in a win for Charles Djou.

92% Messaging Success Rate

Case Studies:

Case Study: “No Washington Exemption”

America is supposed to be a nation of laws that everyone, even elected officials, have to follow.  Citizens deserve to know when their elected representatives are breaking the rules, or creating a different system just to benefit elites like them.  That’s why IWV created the “No Washington Exemption” project to inform anyone who cared as much as we did that our representatives – Republicans and Democrats alike - were not following the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act as it was written and had created a loophole so they didn’t have to live under Obamacare like the rest of us. Studies show that Democrats and Republicans alike reject the Washington Exemption in ObamaCare and when they are told about this unfairness and which candidate defended the system, it resulted in dramatic changes in level of support for candidates by as much as 29%. No wonder they did it in an off-year.

Case Study: Economic Education in Colorado

IWV wants to help Americans make informed decisions.  We know that the more people understand about how the economy works, the more likely they are to see that most of the time free market policy solutions, which may not be intuitive at first glance, actually create the most opportunity and best solutions to the challenges we face.  That’s why, in September of 2012 in Colorado, IWF conducted a one-week educational campaign among 20,000 women designed to increase knowledge of ten key economic facts. Ten days later, we conducted a follow up study comparing those who had seen our education materials vs. those who had not. Among those we reached, correct responses moved +8 points while the those who did not remained flat. Similarly, though no candidate had been mentioned in the education materials, preference moved +6 points for Romney—presumably now seen as the route to achieving more freedom and choice-based policy solutions--over those who did not.

Case Study: “Health Reform Questions”

Americans want a health care system that puts power in the hands of patients and doctors – not the government.  IWV knows that when people learn the facts about how our health care system works, and the problems that ObamaCare is causing, they will want better choices to create a better health care system.

In 2012, IWV used interactive calls, online advertising, and mail to ask “Health Reform Questions” to help raise awareness in North Carolinians about the facts of our health care predicament and to disabuse some false assumptions that had been used to sell the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Realizing the law was hurting many people caused support for the law to fall. And even though neither candidate’s name was mentioned, interestingly support for Mitt Romney, who had signed our pledge to repeal the law, moved +14 points among those who received IWV’s educational information in North Carolina.

Case Study: Public Unions in Wisconsin

Americans want a system that treats workers fairly, whether they are working for the government or the private sector.  IWV recognized that many Independents who opposed Gov. Walker’s reforms mistakenly believed that public employees are underpaid and are making a sacrifice to hold those jobs, rather than the reality, which is the reverse: Unionized public employees are overcompensated relative to the private sector. When people learned the facts, their beliefs changed radically, one measure of which was that even though Governor Walker, his reforms, and the recall weren’t even mentioned, support for Gov. Scott Walker increased by +31 points among 7,500 likely voters who received the IWV information versus those who had not.