Ohio U.S. Senate Race

Advanced Testing Techniques to Persuade Union Voters

Early polling in Ohio’s 2012 U.S. Senate race showed incumbent Sherrod Brown holding a precarious 3-5% lead. Despite being one of the fiercest pro-labor voices in Washington D.C., Brown’s numbers among union members in Ohio were particularly troubling, with his vote share at a paltry 52% in late August. His opponent, Josh Mandel, was young, inexperienced and did a masterful job of masking his issue positions. To chop down Mandel and solidify the union vote, the AFL-CIO implemented an innovative online/offline experiment-informed program (EIP) to determine top-testing pieces and the most treatment-responsive targets. Our top-ranked pieces showed treatment effects of 9% among top tier targets and helped push Brown to a comfortable re-election margin.