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 Georgia over a two-week period. Our messaging was based off of a general state poll prepared by our partner with our Georgia toplines and benchmark. These polls suggested that in the midst of the pandemic, immigration is not a top issue for Georgia voters. The most effective messaging included:
- Messages calling for changes to the immigration system that reflect American values, highlighting ends to family separations and other cruel and inhumane policies, test predominantly well among backlash swing voters.
- A public health message centered on ensuring “everyone is able to get tested and treated” regardless of status. This message tests strongly among all key demographics in the state.
- A unity and race relations combined message that includes messaging on coronavirus and the death of George Floyd does particularly well among African Americans in the state.
Our test audience is somewhat left-leaning voters in Georgia, 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 Senator Perdue 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 Trump and Senator Perdue are trying to deport immigrants and keep them out of the country. They 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 Georgia because (1) it focused on the pandemic and (2) it mentioned scapegoating immigrants instead of real policy solutions- both messages which polled highest in the state. Although this ad did not mention the pandemic specifically, it was clearly meant to tie Senator Perdue to the health of Americans and then connect everything to immigration.
What’s on the Ballot?
The purpose of this ad was to create a predominantly negative feeling towards Senator Perdue and to mention DACA and family separation specifically, the issues that poll most positively in the realm of immigration policy.
“Senator Perdue has done nothing to stop Trump’s cruel and inhumane immigration policies like family separation or the termination of DACA. It’s time to vote out senators who support policies rooted in xenophobia and racism. Vote Senator Perdue out this November.”
This ad did surprisingly well in Georgia. When we ran it in other swing states it was often lower in our findings because it was heavy on specific immigration policies and did not focus on the pandemic. This could be read many ways, but it is likely that Georgians are more open to this type of messaging and reject harmful policies more than other states.
The purpose of this ad was to create a predominantly negative narrative around how Senator Perdue 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, Senator Perdue has used xenophobic and racist messaging to divide our state. Vote Senator Perdue out this November.”
This ad likely did fine for a number or reasons. First, voters in Georgia rate healthcare access and solutions for the pandemic as their top issue. It also highlights that divisive politics does nothing to help the average Georgian amidst the crisis.
It should also be noted that this ad is colorful and well-made, which might have helped it in the algorithm.
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 Senator Perdue. Vote together this November and vote Senator Perdue out.”
This ad did the poorest in Georgia out of all of our swing states tested, which is interesting in light of our polling. This ad does not mention the pandemic specifically, but focused on unity through the crisis. Although this can be read in many ways, likely it did not do as well in the algorithm because it was not policy-specific and perhaps a little too optimistic for the state.