Going into the 2018 cycle, Governor Tom Wolf was the only incumbent Democratic governor running for re-election in a state Donald Trump won — making Governor Wolf one of the “most vulnerable” incumbents in the country according to some political pundits and experts.
Governor Wolf won his re-election with 57.7% of the vote and a nearly 17 point margin of victory.
As a member of Tom Wolf for Governor’s original team, GPS worked closely with the campaign and consultants to deploy a multi-pronged digital operation, composed of a robust direct response component, email acquisition, and a voter contact program targeted to cord-cutters/light TV viewers, persuadable universes, and niche audiences.
In his first four years, Governor Wolf expanded Medicaid, reformed Harrisburg by banning gifts, vetoed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bills, expanded LGBTQ rights, restored deep education funding cuts that had been made by the previous Republican administration, and passed a law protecting animals from abuse.
GPS worked with the campaign to use digital mediums and online targeting to match the right accomplishments for each audience.
Our direct response team focused on delivering the more progressive accomplishments — and Republican Scott Wagner’s strong support of President Trump — to more Democratic audiences through email and social, building Governor Wolf’s support and fundraising efforts from progressive activists. In total, our efforts helped the campaign raise $1,023,013.99 from contributions $250 or less online.
GPS Impact’s online voter contact efforts focused on accomplishments and negative messaging for persuadable and base vote audiences. The TV extension campaign resulted in approximately 30 million impressions in display, YouTube, and pre-roll ads, and another 18 million impressions on Facebook. Ads targeted to persuadable African American voters resulted in nearly 6.5 million impressions; ads to Philadelphia-area women resulted in 1.3 million impressions; and ads served to new young registrants generated 1.4 million impressions.
And we had some fun on the campaign, too. GPS Impact produced our own version of an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode, depicting Governor Tom Wolf buying John Fetterman a tie after he became the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Hollywood here we come!