02 / Strategy
Research showed that Heinrich and Wilson were running neck and neck, and the public dialogue was dominated by Obamacare and Social Security. But in our message polling, we saw an opening to weaken Wilson’s standing in the race by highlighting her record of letting corporate polluters off the hook. Water contamination from MTBE, a chemical found in gasoline, was a powerful local issue in New Mexico. Combined with Wilson’s record of taking campaign contributions from oil companies, we leveraged a powerful issue to define her early in the campaign. While environmental issues were not top-of-mind for voters, the research showed how powerful Wilson’s votes could be if they were introduced as evidence of her misplaced priorities. We launched our six-week campaign in June, flooding the airwaves with a devastating narrative about Heather Wilson, the money she took, the votes she cast, and the consequences for New Mexico’s families.