Case Study

Ned Lamont for Connecticut

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The 2018 governor’s race in Connecticut represented one of the best pickup opportunities for the Republican Party that cycle. Reliably blue in Presidential years but hyper-competitive in gubernatorial cycles, the Connecticut Governor’s Office had been decided by less than 30,000 votes in each of the last two elections.

Democratic candidate Ned Lamont faced a challenging political environment at a moment when Connecticut voters were calling for change. SKDK developed a strategy to communicate how Lamont was differentiating himself from the Democratic incumbent on a host of economic issues, one of which property taxes – a top concern among voters. After developing a property tax cut plan, we created town-by-town, localized property tax ads to show how much voters would save in each community across Connecticut under Lamont’s proposal.

Meanwhile we were up against a Republican nominee for governor who ran on the complete elimination of the state income tax – an idea that sounded bold and polled well, but ultimately would have devastated public services and led to higher property taxes statewide. Therefore we worked with the campaign on the substance and the design of a website which demonstrated which services would be cut if the state income tax were to be eliminated. The campaign drove site traffic through search, display and social videos.

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After the Republican nominee received an “A”-rating from the NRA, SKDK created social content in a variety of forms and across multiple platforms, especially in the parts of the state where gun safety is a critical issue. In this and many other policy areas, we conveyed to voters the importance of electing a Democratic Governor to stand up to Trump’s policies in Connecticut and nationwide. On November 6, 2018, Ned Lamont prevailed in a difficult environment, winning 49.4% – 46.2% in a race the Democrat was not expected to win. It ultimately proved to be the largest margin of victory in a Connecticut governor’s race in 12 years.