“The Most Important Election of 2023 Is Taking Place in Wisconsin”
Judge Janet’s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue easily so in the primary we wanted to familiarize voters with her name but also give them permission to badly mispronounce it.
“One ad for Protasiewicz featuring a young woman learning her baby would have severe abnormalities captures the emotion driving the race”
– The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, 3/23/2023
Throughout the campaign our ads messaged the differences between the two candidates on reproductive freedom. The New York times reported, “The Protasiewicz strategy is to pound away on advertising to energize Democrats while depressing Republican support.”
While Judge Janet was being viciously attacked on the airwaves we found credible validators – like this spot featuring Clayton – to be an essential part of our ad mix.
Abortion was not the only message in our campaign. Immediately following the Primary we flooded the airwaves with an ad designed to take away Kelly’s top performing attack against us (crime). We could not allow Kelly to have a clean shot at Judge Janet. One headline from Semafor read, “Wisconsin Democrats learned to play hardball in the country’s biggest judicial election.”
In some of the northern Wisconsin markets the issue of Dan Kelly’s corruption was of paramount importance. We told this story in multiple ways with a variety of messengers. Importantly, while there was diversity in messages, it all fit neatly within the overall narrative we developed against Dan Kelly and in favor of Judge Janet: That Kelly is an extremist who doesn’t care about us… while Judge Janet is a common-sense judge who cares about you.
Highlighting Kelly’s involvement with the fake elector scheme designed to overthrow the will of the people and overturn the 2020 election was an important motivator for Democratic and Independent voters in Southern Wisconsin. The New York times reported, “The Protasiewicz strategy is to pound away on advertising to energize Democrats while depressing Republican support.”
A critically important message for Seniors (and voters in NE Wisconsin) centered on Kelly’s previous comments on Social Security. While Social Security is a federal issue, these ads were about Kelly’s character and extremism and how he would approach other issues important to voters.
It’s always important to give voters a reason to vote FOR your candidate and not solely focus on reasons to vote against your opponent. Throughout the campaign we maintained positive messaging driving a narrative on Judge Janet’s background as a former 25-year prosecutor and a circuit court judge. We clearly laid out her personal belief that women and their families should have the freedom to make their own decisions when it comes to abortion. This version of our closing spot was rated the best testing ad of the campaign with our research partners (it came at just the right time to drive momentum heading into Election Day).
“a huge progressive win in Wisconsin”
“In Wisconsin, Janet Protasiewicz won in the most expensive state judicial race in U.S. history, giving liberals the state Supreme Court majority for the first time in more than a decade.”
Watch Rachel Maddow call the race on Election Night. She clearly lays out the stakes of this race and the implications of Judge Janet’s victory.