As part of our 2020 election strategy, America’s Voice has conducted polling in five target states including (1) North Carolina, (2) Texas, (3) Georgia, (4) Florida, and (5) Arizona. The purpose of the polling is to determine how candidates, campaigns, and other advocacy groups should discuss the issue of immigration with persuadable voters in swing states.
Our 2020 election ad campaign is a series of Facebook ads designed to test the messaging our polling suggested would be the most effective in these states to provide our trainees with tangible ideas for how to run ads and talk to voters.
We ran a total of 4 ads in Florida over a two-week period. Our messaging was based off of a general state poll prepared by our partners with our Florida toplines and benchmark. These polls suggested Immigration is not a priority, but certainly not a losing issue. It can be engaged within the broader context with messaging about Trump’s divisiveness, chaos, and failure to fix anything. His policy “solutions” make things worse and divide people (e.g. handling of COVID, building a border wall, literally dividing families). There is much more urgency around undoing Trump’s aggressive and divisive immigration policies and agenda than there is for traditional immigration reform ideas.
Our test audience is somewhat left-leaning voters in Florida, ages 18-65. We did not narrow down any additional testing based on location or gender, but there is evidence in our polling that women in non-rural areas would find these ads most appealing.
The purpose of this ad was to push the narrative that Donald Trump has attacked immigrants during the pandemic when many immigrant workers are essential to keeping us afloat during the crisis.
“Immigrant workers are working hard to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. But President Trump is trying to deport immigrants and keep them out of the country. He want us to think immigrants are bad for America, so we won’t think about how bad Republicans are at their jobs. Don’t be fooled.”
This ad was successful in Florida because (1) it focused on the pandemic and (2) it mentioned undoing Trump’s damage- both messages which polled highest in the state. Although this ad did not mention the pandemic specifically, it was clearly meant to tie Trump to the health of Americans and then connect everything to immigration.
It should be noted that this graphic polled much higher than it did in other states, indicating that Floridians are more open to this area of immigration generally.
All of Us
The purpose of this ad was to create a predominantly positive feeling of unity around the pandemic, and to call on voters to reject racist scapegoating many GOP candidates have employed.
“America is strongest when we work together. It’s time to stop the racist and xenophobic rhetoric from politicians like Donald Trump. Vote together this November and vote Donald Trump out.”
This ad employs a predominantly positive message that focuses on unity above GOP division and distraction. It does not mention the pandemic specifically, but it was designed to associate the election with the crisis. Our polling suggested that voters in Florida voters care about this issue above all else, which is likely why this ad did well.
Other factors to consider include that this ad was short, colorful, and optimistic.
The purpose of this ad was to create a predominantly negative narrative around how Donald Trump has handled the pandemic and to remind voters of the lack of real policy in a time when many Americans are struggling.
“Americans need healthcare, a strong economy, and real safety measures during the pandemic. Instead of finding solutions, Donald Trump has used xenophobic and racist messaging to divide our state. Vote Trump out this November.”
This ad likely did fine for a number or reasons. First, voters in Florida rate healthcare access and solutions for the pandemic as their top issue. It also highlights that divisive politics does nothing to help the average Floridian amidst the crisis.
It should also be noted that this ad is colorful and well-made, which might have helped it in the algorithm.
What’s on the Ballot?
The purpose of this ad was to create a predominantly negative feeling towards Donald Trump and to mention DACA and family separation specifically, the issues that poll most positively in the realm of immigration policy.
“Donald Trump has implemented cruel and inhumane immigration policies like family separation or the termination of DACA. It’s time to vote out politicians who support policies rooted in xenophobia and racism. Vote Donald Trump out this November.”
Although this ad is ranked last, it should be noted that its numbers were very close to the previous two ads. Regardless, it probably struggled in the algorithm because it did not focus on the pandemic like the other ads we ran. Our polling suggests the crisis is the top priority of Floridians, even though many noted they did care about immigration issues like family separation or the termination of DACA.
Another factor to consider is taht this was our most immigration-policy heavy ad, which did not do as well in other swing states.