More often than not, campaigns, whether electing a candidate or branding a corporation, are about understanding and building a broader image and perception than they are about specific issues. Issues, rather, are the elements used to frame and inform the image and perceptions that we need to drive.

Our approach is that of thematic pollsters, believing that each data set tells a complex, often interwoven story and as pollsters it is our job to understand that story and define the clearest and most salient route for our clients to achieve their objectives. Read More

Case Studies

Polling New Orleans Post-Katrina – And Getting It Right.

After the first round of primary elections in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, we were approached by the Midura Campaign to help them define a message to defeat incumbent Republican City Councilman Jay Batt. While the campaign had its hunches about the message there, given their limited resources and Batt’s tremendous war chest we needed to know whether that message was right.

Given the fact that large parts of the City were without phones, or in some parts residents for that matter, this project posed a very significant challenge for any survey researcher. Logistically, voters could vote in New Orleans, by mail form outside the state, or at vote centers within the state. Fully one-quarter of the general election participants voted outside the City.

To define our methodology we used the primary election turnout patterns—where we tracked the percentage of voters who voted in New Orleans by precinct, the percent who voted outside New Orleans but within Louisiana by Parish, and the percent who voted from another state, such as Texas, Oklahoma and even California and Illinois. Using those few givens we designed a cluster sample methodology which stratified our sample to account for each of those geographic clusters, and which assured we accurately represented each of respondents from each of those geographic regions. Also, each regions sample was drawn separately, meaning we treated each geographic area as its own poll in some respects. In addition, we had the voter file matched against the National Change of Address Registry and conducted a phone match for any person or household who had an updated address.

Through a rigorous sample consumption standard we also defined specifically for this project, coupled with slow and steady dialing, we were able to complete the survey and found the contest was a statistical dead heat, our edge. More importantly, we learned that Batt’s ties to a local corporation and his use of their corporate jet and other perks was the most salient line of attack for these voters who desperately wanted progress on the very basics, like getting electricity.

Come Election Night our client Shelley Midura unseated an incumbent in New Orleans post-Katrina.