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.
To defeat Republicans in our target districts, we use the latest advertising technology to receive the biggest bang for our buck.
Most organizations spend their resources on TV ads to persuade “moderate” voters, which is a declining population due to the rapid rise in polarization, especially since Trump’s election in 2016. However, because TV advertising cannot target individual voters, most TV ads are seen by Americans who never vote, will always vote Democrat, or will always vote Republican. Instead, we’re only targeting registered Democrats who voted in 2020, but not in 2018, since persuasion will not matter if the Democratic base does not vote in 2022.
We show these Democratic voters hard-hitting ads highlighting Republican positions on critical issues. Our statistical research suggests that these “negative” ads in competitive districts have a three times greater impact on a Democratic candidate’s share of the vote than that of “positive” ads uplifting a Democratic candidate’s policies. Since we run these attack ads online, we can see which demographics (e.g., young, old, caucasian, black) are engaging with our videos the most. The algorithms within our ad-buying platform then direct our dollars to those demographics. In other words, the algorithms allow us to show our ads to the types of people who are engaging with them the most.