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Landmark Research

The New West

Project New America was founded as Project New West in 2007, based on the idea that profound changes were occurring in America’s fastest growing region, and research was needed to understand the new voters who were changing the face of the West. Since that time, the West has emerged as the nation’s key battleground, and PNA has played an important role in important progressive victories throughout the region.  Along the way, we’ve amassed the nation’s most extensive body of Western research.

From the outset, PNA has had its finger on the pulse of the trends, issues, and demographics that define the New West. From our ongoing statewide landscape research in states like Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico, to our comprehensive looks into key western demographics, we've been ahead of the curve in identifying the priorities and concerns of this region.

Among the comprehensive projects we’ve conducted was an in-depth survey of active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) voters in Utah, which provided a nuanced understanding of the values that drive attitudes in that rapidly growing community.

We’ve also conducted multiple projects that help shed light on the values and attitudes of the Hispanic community in states throughout the West.  Our research has been instrumental in identifying how attitudes vary in Hispanic communities throughout the West, and among different sub-demographics.  Our Western Hispanic research has been implemented in some of the West’s most successful voter registration efforts and persuasion campaigns.

Our core belief that independent voters are the key to the West informs much of our research.  Since 2007, we’ve made independents a focus of every piece of Western research, conducting numerous oversamples, focus groups and online dial-tests, among these voters.

Years of research into the attitudes of independent voters culminated in a 2011 project that identifies the most effective frames for mainstream Western politicians to talk about key issues.  The project, which included 1,000 on-line dial tests with independents and soft partisans, as well as 3,000 telephone interviews, focuses on issues and messages that are most effective among western independents.

Our expertise creates actionable results that help our clients succeed from winning elections to increasing civic engagement to achieving policy successes at the legislature and ballot box.

Building off of our past knowledge base of thousands of bilingual interviews, we designed several messages around the economy, education and immigration that were used by organizers on the ground to boost Hispanic turnout to record levels.  Senator Harry Reid has since credited Hispanic voters for his narrow victory in the 2010 Nevada Senate race.

Since 2007, PNA has developed strategic message frames for progressives to connect with swing voters from the economy to the budget to education and conservation.  Our clients have used this information to inform broad strategy and day-to-day tactics. 

PNA continues to conduct regular research in our core Western states around legislative issues, elections, ballot initiatives, and voter values.  Additionally, we’re regularly commissioned to manage research projects on areas ranging from legislative races to specific issue areas and demographics.

Project New America