The Progress Action Fund is focused on targeting the right voters, with the right message, in the right districts. Our political instincts and rigorous data analysis give us a unique advantage on where to spend resources. While most organizations invested in the Maine, Iowa, and North Carolina Senate races in 2020, we focused on the Georgia Senate seats despite few others believing Georgia could be flipped blue.
For the 2022 midterms, we again sought to fill a gap in the Democratic ecosystem. While most Democratic groups began their work in Fall 2022, we started running 30-second online video ads in Fall 2021 to prevent Republicans from setting & dominating the narrative. Our ads targeted Democratic voters who generally didn’t turnout in midterms, as GOP victories in 2010 & 2014 were largely due to low Democratic turnout. These voters were disproportionately young, people of color, & not regularly targeted by Democratic groups due to their inconsistent voting history.
Case Study: 2022 Georgia Senate Race
For the 2022 Georgia Senate races, we were the first organization to launch ads against Herschel Walker after he won the GOP primary. In May 2022, we launched our ad “Herschel Walker: Right for Abusers,” as our tests showed the ad decreased Walker’s favorability by 4 points. The 30-second spot received coverage from outlets such as The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Roll Call, & McClatchy DC for doing “the dirty work traditional Democrats shy away from.”
To break through the noise to reach our target demographic (Black Democrats who typically didn’t vote in midterms), we partnered with comedy legend Cedric the Entertainer to “roast” Herschel Walker. Cedric’s roast went viral & was picked up by numerous outlets & cable news channels. The ad received praise on MSNBC from Cliff Albright of Black Voters Matter & Roland Martin, who criticized Democrat’s historical mistakes for not working with Black male surrogates to earn the support of black men.