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Mar 20, 2014| By:

Technology, Turnout and Trust: Understanding the 2012 Election

In 2012, Project New America worked with a broad range of clients to create successful strategies based on cutting-edge research technology. Here are a few highlights:

Technology:  Any successful strategy begins with a strong plan based on real world data. Our opinion research created new insights to understand the rapidly changing electorate. We made it a priority to include “cellphone-only” households in our surveys to properly represent young voters and communities of color, who made the difference for Obama in key battlegrounds. Republican pollsters have pointed to a shortage of cell phone interviews to explain some of their inaccurate polls in 2012.

Turnout:  Building off successful efforts in close races in 2010, PNA conducted in-depth research throughout the cycle to increase voter turnout using individual level targeting among key voters. Although communities of color are growing as a percentage of the population, the Romney campaign bet on these groups staying home in 2012. Their belief was based on an erroneous assumption that these voters would be unenthusiastic about voting for President Obama, but also by widespread efforts around the country to make voting more difficult. Voter turnout data and post-election anecdotes confirmed what PNA research had shown for months: voter suppression backfired on the GOP.

Trust:  In most elections, there is usually only a tiny universe of “swing voter” who may be persuadable. Our research helped SEIU and Priorities USA identify the most effective ways to communicate with persuadable Hispanic voters in Colorado, Florida and Nevada – helping boost Obama to record performance and turnout. Separately, prior to the first Presidential debate, PNA surveyed over 5,000 voters to understand the tiny segment who were undecided. This survey shattered several common myths about these “Undecideds” by identifying the cross-pressure between their disappointment with the economic situation and their distrust of Mitt Romney. This trend was confirmed in tracking polling that PNA conducted in battleground states through the final three weeks of the campaign. The clear theme is that Romney's personal background and political positions gave voters serious pause, which the Obama campaign and outside groups effectively exploited.

As the tactics of message delivery evolve with changing technologies and demographics, PNA will remain at the forefront of innovative political and issue-based research. We will continue to provide our clients with the strategic guidance to produce winning results.

Jan 29, 2014| Huffington Post

Activists will be pushing legalization ballot measures in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana and Nevada. Already, they are making an offer to political candidates: Embrace legalized pot and win over a chunk of the youth vote, or else. Some Democrats, meanwhile, are taking another lesson from Colorado and Washington: In 2012, marijuana got a greater percentage of the vote in both states than Obama.

Jun 25, 2013| The Atlantic

In 2000, a national Democratic consultant named Jill Hanauer moved to Colorado and decided the West was ripe for political change. After helping Democrats take the Colorado legislature in 2004, in 2007 she started a company called Project New West to help other Democrats in a region where demographic changes and the Republican Party's shift to the right had altered the political equation.

Since the days of Arizonan Barry Goldwater, the Southwest had been solidly Republican. But that changed in the last decade. Western Democrats like Brian Schweitzer and Harry Reid won by emphasizing quality-of-life issues like education and the environment, neutralizing the culture war (often by professing love for the Second Amendment), and mobilizing the growing Hispanic vote. Far-right Republicans like former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo helped Western Democrats make the case to moderate suburbanites that the GOP had gone off the ideological deep end. Now, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado have voted Democratic in two straight presidential elections, and the party has even managed to win statewide elections in Montana and Arizona.

Jun 10, 2013| By:

Last week, a handful of county elected officials went public with a plan to secede from the state of Colorado, citing concerns about several recent changes to state gun laws.

PNA is releasing data today that confirms these county commissioners are out of touch with the attitudes of rural voters on gun issues.

Voters across the state overwhelmingly support several new laws and policies that will keep guns away from criminals, domestic violence offenders, and the mentally ill – whether they are in CO’s 53 rural counties, in the four Front Range suburban/ex-urban counties, or in Denver metro.

Voters statewide in Florida and in key swing congressional districts are strongly supportive of immigration reform and are more likely to support a political candidate who supports a pathway to citizenship, findings from five new polls show.

Project New America partnered with Public Policy Polling to conduct a statewide survey in Florida from April 26-29 while simultaneously running the same survey in the districts of key Representatives: Daniel Webster FL-10, Gus Bilirakis FL-12, Dennis Ross FL-15 and Tom Rooney FL-17.

PNA President Jill Hanauer: "These polls make it clear that Florida voters want immigration reform to be passed in 2013 and that solid majorities favor a pathway to citizenship. There will be electoral consequences for politicians who vote the wrong way on an immigration deal."

Apr 17, 2013| By:

Voters in Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor of requiring background checks at gun shows, according to comprehensive new polls from Project New America (PNA).

This data shows there is also a break between GOP voters and the party’s political leadership on this issue. In all seven states, majorities of GOP voters favor background checks. And background checks are supported by voters who view the NRA favorably in every state. “We’ve seen strong nationwide numbers on background checks for years. This data shows that in key Senate swing states, voters overwhelmingly support expanding background checks,” said PNA President Jill Hanauer. "We are seeing Washington DC finally catching up with the American public on the issue of background checks."

Between Thursday and Sunday, PNA interviewed over 5,000 Americans in some of the most conservative, rural states with high rates of gun ownership and US Senators from both parties that have strong ratings from the NRA. After recent announcements of support from Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), this data suggests that voters in these states agree.

Working with noted pollster Anzalone Grove Liszt Research, PNA surveyed two of the key Democratic Senate seats up in 2014 – Arkansas and North Carolina.  PNA also surveyed five of the moderate Republican senate seats in Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio with Public Policy Polling.

This set of polls represents the largest dataset of opinion research in these key Senate seats – and clear evidence that the new bipartisan agreement for background checks has strong public support.

Interesting State Datapoints - More Available In State Memos:

In North Carolina, 69% of Independent voters favor expanding checks. And 48% are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor, compared to only 25% less likely to support.

In Maine, 90% of women support background checks. And 76% are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor, compared to only 14% less likely.

In Arkansas, 62% of GOP voters favor background checks with even higher support from Democrats and Independents. And 45% of GOP voters say they would be more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor while only 35% say less likely.

In Ohio, 85% of African Americans, 66% of Hispanics and 57% of white voters favor background checks. All three groups are 60% or more likely to support their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor.

David Winkler, PNA’s Research Director, said: “Looking to 2014 and beyond, the GOP leadership should note that key voters they need to win strongly support this measure – especially women, independents and even gun owners.”

“There is no grey area here. Voters in these states overwhelmingly support strengthening background checks at gun shows and want their senators to vote to expand them. Regardless of party, or whether they own a gun or not, these voters support expanding background checks,” said pollster John Anzalone.

State Poll Methodology is attached to each memo.
Project New America (PNA) is a private company that provides candidates, advocacy organizations, and civic engagement stakeholders the tools and strategies to understand and communicate with rapidly changing America.

Anzalone Liszt Grove Research is widely recognized as one of the premier survey research firms in the country. It polled in nine states for the Obama campaign, including the critical states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. It also has had a depth of success electing Democrats in tough states and districts, winning more Republican-held seats at the federal level over the past four cycles than any other polling firm. And New York Times columnist and polling guru, Nate Silver, recently dubbed it one of the three most accurate pollsters in America.

Over the last 5 years, Public Policy Polling (PPP) has built a reputation as one of the most accurate polling companies in the country. In 2012 it was the only public polling company to correctly predict the winner of every swing state in the Presidential race, and a Fordham University study ranked it as having the most accurate national polling as well. In 2010 PPP was the first polling company to pick up on the shocking victories of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race and Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican Senate primary, and in 2008 the Wall Street Journal ranked PPP as one of the two most accurate swing state polling companies in the country.

Mar 4, 2013| By: PNA Staff

PNA’s recent survey of Colorado voters shows strong opposition to cuts to Social Security and Medicare and strong preferences for Democratic solutions to balancing the federal budget; these sentiments are particularly strong among Hispanic voters.

Feb 25, 2013| By: PNA Staff

PNA President Jill Hanauer writes about what new Florida poll results mean for GOP leaders like Sen. Marco Rubio. 

Feb 12, 2013| By: PNA Staff

Anzalone Liszt Grove Research is a polling firm with extensive experience polling Florida voters, including polling the state for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012. This poll of 800 Florida registered voters was conducted for Project New America between January 30 and February 6, 2013, with a mixture of landline and cell phone dialing. The survey used bi-lingual dialers and was offered in both English and Spanish. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

Project New America is a private company that provides cutting edge tools to understand and communicate with a rapidly changing America. PNA develops, conducts, aggregates, and disseminates research, messaging and on-going strategic guidance with the nation's leading progressive stakeholders.

Feb 1, 2013| By: PNA Staff

Project New America and Keating Research recently completed a statewide live operator telephone survey of Colorado voters. 

Voters were offered the option to chose between two opposing statements on immigration: one in support of reform that includes a pathway to citizenship and the other which opposes reform, amnesty and citizenship.

 It's clear that CO voters will strongly support immigration solutions that include a pathway to citizenship, such as the recent immigration reform proposals from President Barack Obama and the bipartisan Senate group including Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. 


Key findings include:

66% of voters agree that "there should be a pathway for immigrants who are here without legal status to earn citizenship  if they are of good character, pay taxes, and are committed to becoming fully participating members of our society."

  • Support crosses party lines with 88% of Democrats, 67% of unaffiliated voters, and 44% of Republicans agreeing.
  • White (63%) and Hispanic (88%) voters support the reform statement.


Project New America