Victory in Massachusetts: Honey, I Shrank the Gender Gap
IWV is so proud of the role we were able to play in the Massachusetts special election.
When IWV couldn’t persuade the political professionals that Martha Coakley was anything but a shoo-in and Scott Brown's race was worth spending money on, IWV launched its own independent expenditure of approximately $250,000. Unlike some of the other efforts in Massachusetts, IWV believed that to come close to winning, two things needed to happen: shrink the 30-point gender gap and elevate healthcare to being indisputably the primary issue in the campaign (so that any success could not be dismissed as just the economy or jobs angst). Too many people weren't getting the message that this election was really a referendum on health care. We helped change that debate.
To that end, IWV used extremely successful recorded calls recorded by a female physician, radio ads, and live calls. Our radio ads saturated Massachusetts up until election day and the calls carefully educated targeted voters about the stakes in this race -- the future of their health care freedom -- and encouraged them to get out and vote against big government by voting for Scott Brown. We helped cut a 30 point gender gap to 9 points, and reinforced the fact that health care and the 41st vote in the Senate were the dominant issues.
It may not have been glamorous stuff, but since we're about results, it was the most effective way to bring the health care issue to the forefront, shrink the gender gap and motivate turnout.
Following the election, to help educate the public—and elected officials—about the importance of the health care issue to voters, IWV commissioned a poll to assess what influenced Massachusetts voters during the special Senate election.
The election in Massachusetts showed us that anything is possible, both in the health care fight and the upcoming elections!