In 2018, Congressional special elections peppered the political landscape. Many of these contests were viewed as litmus tests against the Trump administration and its policies; the contest for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District was one of these elections.
Donald Trump won the Ohio 12th by double digits in 2016. Despite the deep deficit, Conservation Ohio, along with its progressive partners, knew it could make an impact on the election by running a targeted communications program. Conservation Ohio chose JM2 to highlight Democrat Danny O’Connor’s progressive credentials and ensure the date for the special election was well known throughout the district. While the O’Connor campaign came just short of victory on in the Special Election, the district swung by more than ten points in just two years – a monumental swing for Democrats that caught national attention.
Super PACs are known for serving negative attack ads in contentious races, but Elevate Ohio chose a different tactic. Elevate Ohio, the independent expenditure campaign in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, communicated with voters about the issues that affect their day-to-day lives and how NRCC Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers had neglected those during his time in office.
Despite being one of the most gerrymandered districts in the state, first-time candidate Rick Neal chose to challenge one of the most well-funded congressmen in the nation on the issues: healthcare, infrastructure funding, and education. Elevate Ohio complemented Neal’s issue-driven campaign, focusing on the concerns of Ohioans and not politics as usual. JM2 capitalized on this unique viewpoint to create innovative, issue-focused mail.