TSG Case Studies

Democratic National Campaign Committee

TSG has been helping candidates win seats in congress since our start. In 2014? we became a preferred vendor with the DCCC and in 2016 we worked on 36 races and we anticipate 50 for 2018.  The Sexton Group has a long-standing partnership with a national call center company. This partnership has allowed us to grow and adapt to provide the best quality services and reporting to our clients. We are proud of the capacity our backend allows us – we can easily run 250 live call projects simultaneously and send out 5,000,000 peer-to-peer texts in a single day.

We partnered with the DCCC to run the most effective program in each particular district – be that live IDs, vote by mail chase texts or a variety of GOTV efforts. In 2018 we started to roll out graphic texting in many of our DCCC races. We have seen this cycle that texts can be an extremely effective way to reach voters. These messages range from a simple digital palm card to sending a video of a someone endorsing our candidate.

 As the 2018 DCCC primary phone vendor, and exclusive P2P vendor, we developed and ran a comprehensive, multi-touch, phone and engagement program that turned out new and sporadic voters that together became the biggest wave election for Democrats since the 1970s. Utilizing SMS and MMS texting, with some of our firm’s messaging expertise, we not only reached voters, but engaged with them on their issues, their passions, and met them in the palm of their hands. Throughout the 2018 cycle we sent 36 million P2P texts for the DCCC, with almost 5 million of those on Election Day alone.

In January of 2019, Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker and Democrats took the U.S. House in historic fashion – flipping over 40 seats across the country. With changing demographics, we as consultants have to change as well. It’s clear that in order to continue to reach voters we must: adapt our strategies, integrate the old with the new, and evolve with our voters. We saw how texting is a great way to reach people that in recent past cycles were hard to contact. We tailored our texts for the greatest benefit in each race. From crowd building, to VBM chase, to rapid response and GOTV, we reached and mobilized voters across the country.

ann kirkpatrick AZ-02 

 In a race like this turnout is everything. The Sexton Group texted supporters early to let them know when their absentee ballot would arrive. We continued to engage with these voters via P2P text ensuring that they met deadlines returning their ballot. We encouraged voters to “make a plan” to vote with an interactive multi-choice script that walked them through making a plan of when they would head to the polls. Voters who needed to return a ballot received a quick video message from their neighbor (and for some voters their former Congresswoman), Gabby Giffords, reminding them to return their ballot.

 Congresswoman Kirkpatrick won her primary, getting 41.9% of the votes, 10,000 more than the second place finisher. We were able to connect and mobilize her supporters via P2P texting, resulting in a win.

john arena - chicago alderman

Our work doesn’t stop once our candidates win elected office, we continue to help leaders communicate with constituents.

 For example, we do robos calls to remind folks of upcoming government deadlines and can help leaders engage in dialogue with constituents via tele-townhalls.

 The Chicago City Council introduced a proposal for mixed income housing that was geared towards veterans and the disabled in the Far North Side of the city. The reaction from conservatives in the community was immediate and vitriolic, complete with protests at the office of Alderman John Arena and trolls all over his social media.

 As the process continued, support for the proposal grew, although the vitriol didn’t decrease much. Alderman Arena’s office knew they needed to host a community meeting. Their office had genuine concerns that such a meeting would quickly devolve into a shouting match, if not worse. They needed to have a real and engaging conversation, so they turned to our firm and we set up a tele-townhall.

 The goal for the Alderman’s office was to have a genuine conversation. Using a tele-townhall, the Alderman’s office was able to moderate this discussion and give opportunity for folks to actually listen to each other.

 The Sexton Group was with them every step of the way. We started with training on how to use our tele-townhall system, answering their staff questions, guiding them through the question screening process and engaging in some test calls and screenings. After the call we provided the office with data to continue the conversation. We provided them with a full audio file of the tele-townhall and the audio of unasked questions, so that they could followed up with constituents one on one.

 Looking at the data with the office afterward, they told us that many of the hundreds who called in where not the people who normally come to their meetings. The format made it more accessible to those with disabilities, families with young children, and lower income residents who felt uncomfortable standing in a large crowd declaring their need for affordable housing.

 Our telephone town hall technology ensured that, instead of having a meeting, we helped the 45th Ward have a conversation. It eliminated the problems of repetitive comments and questions, people talking over each other, and rude sniping from the audience. They told us that to have such a successful town hall on such a contentious topic was exhilarating, and very beneficial.

jon ossoff GA-06 Special Electione

GA-06 faced many of the typical challenges in a special election. When this race went to run off, Democrats knew that we were giving Republicans time to reorganize and unify, and that Jon Ossoff needed an aggressive GOTV program. The campaign brought in our firm to assist in a massive absentee ballot chase program, they wanted to make sure no Dem votes were left on the table. In the first round of the special, Ossoff received 5,046 votes by mail, with the other Dems in the race only getting 85 combined among the five of them. We had a lot of room to do better!

 The goal of this program was simple – get voters to return their ballots. Our phone program included both texts and live calls to landlines and cells. We first texted a universe of 38,024 number to let them know that they would be soon receiving a ballot by mail. We were able give the campaign the replies so they could take care of any actionable items. About two weeks later, we followed up with live calls. This gave us the opportunity to answer any questions and trouble shoot issues. We then followed up again, two weeks later, with live calls to let people know this was their last chance to return their ballots.

 This race saw historic turnout. The typical midterm election in GA-06 sees about 210,000 votes, this special election run-off, saw almost 260k. As one pollster said, with 260k people voting, we just ran out of Democrats and Independents. However, we were able to see returns from our contacts. During the special election in April, Ossoff’s mail in ballots accounted for 5.4% of his total vote. For the run off, we increased that number to 14.4%.

 We can see measurable returns when we combine text and live calls when chasing absentee ballots, which can be impactful in a special or run-off.

gun violence prevention pac

G-PAC IL is committed to supporting and electing public officials who are committed to tackling gun violence. In early 2018, the Illinois legislature was poised to vote on legislation that would require gun dealers obtain a license with the state. For 16 years Gun Dealer Licensing legislation died in the IL General Assembly. In 2018, thanks to a comprehensive campaign, GPAC-IL was able to pass this legislation not once, but twice in one session. Once out of the House and Senate, and then again to override the Governor’s veto. The GPAC team knew that they were going to need a comprehensive campaign to move this bill forward, a strategy that included a lot of individual direct engagement to legislators. 

 One of the main focuses of the campaign was for legislators to hear directly from constituents. We helped them launch a large patch project, connecting constituents’ voices directly to these legislator’s offices. We started this project by running a few rounds of ID calls into the target legislator’s districts. A few days later, we added these IDs plus other supporters GPAC had gathered into a large patch through universe. By doing a round of IDs, we were able to reach our pass goals quickly, as we not only had supporters but we knew we had working numbers for folks.

 While the campaign engaged in five primary forms of constituent contact, phone connects ended up being 45% of the total contacts they had with legislators. We patched through 19,595 voters directly to their elected officials.

 With our help, and the voices of constituents, GPAC flipped ten members in the House (8 Rs and 2Ds) and four Rs in the Senate.


league of conservation voters

In the spring of 2018 the SRP board in AZ held elections. The SPR board is in charge of Arizona’s state power and water utility that sets rates and drives policy. The pool of voters for this election is weighted and limited only to landowners, which means that historically these are extremely low turn out races. The League of Conservation Voters and local solar advocates saw an opportunity to try and elect board members who could help promote clean, renewable energy. These organizations had done an amazing job organizing and educating eligible voters, but realized they needed some help with GOTV, so they reached out to TSG. We did standard round of GOTV live calls to a large pool of voters. We were primarily pushing the two at large candidates, but we were also able to promote district by district races where applicable. In addition to this we did a round of ballot chase calls. The groups on the ground had made a really big push for ballot requests. Until this election the record number of ballots returned was about 3,500, in 2018 more than 11,000 ballots were sent out. We called voters to make sure they had returned their ballot and to make sure they knew if they had not, they still had time to drop it off in person.

 With the hard work on the ground and an aggressive GOTV programs, the SRP elected two new at large board members who campaigned on renewable energy.  Both of these candidates, who are under 40, were able to oust long standing board members, one of the incumbents had spent 42 years on the board. As we did with the LCV, TSG can help you maximize all your field organizing and help you mobilize your people to the polls.

seiu local 1

We help SEIU Healthcare IL with member check ins and ongoing communications. We are able to help them get information out quickly. We will do robo calls out to members to remind them of important meetings. Members can press 1 to RSVP and that data can be sent back to organizers. We also will do live calls to new hires making sure they are all squared away with their new membership and invite them to join regular meetings.