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Case Study: Navigating IE Campaigns in a Crowded Election Cycle

By July 31, 2020February 16th, 2023One Comment

Sinclair Public Affairs has been a leading force in independent expenditure (IE) campaigns and boasts a broad range of clients, one of the most recent of which is the South Carolina Association of REALTORSⓇ during the 2020 South Carolina Primaries.  


The end goal for each independent expenditure campaign is the same: to raise awareness among voters and ensure the selected races are successful. This can be particularly difficult to do in a crowded election cycle, much like the 2020 Primary Election was this year.  While each independent expenditure campaign differs in tactics, the beginning steps are the same. Our team at Sinclair worked with the SC Association of REALTORSⓇ to develop the proper strategy to reach out to individual voters that would participate in the five different key races during this election cycle.

Strategies and Tactics 

Working with our client, we developed the strategies and tactics needed to achieve their goals, and decided on the means of communication necessary to break through the noise. All the following tactics were effective in reaching our target demographics to inform them of the issues that would directly affect them, and the different candidates’ positions on each topic. 

  • Direct mailers were an effective tool we used to target voters. Depending on the race, we targeted registered political party members or unaffiliated voters who had voted along specific party lines in previous years. By targeting households that had been active in recent election cycles, we ensured the client’s dollars were spent on those most likely to vote again. We coordinated everything from strategic direct mail messaging and copy, mailer quantities, scheduling, design, and mailer lists. 
  • Digital ads were an operative way to get a range of eyes on the campaign messaging, with a high return on investment and cost-effective prices. Our firm produced static, video and GIF ads with cohesive design that linked back to the campaign site. We carefully selected ad placement and ensured the time and effort put into ad production reached our target audience.  
  • Texting proved to be a very compelling way to keep attention on candidates and key dates leading up to the election. Our team delivered texts that highlighted the different candidates and issues that each candidate was running on. Reminder texts were also sent out to keep voters informed on when and where to vote. Inexpensive in nature, but with a large reach, texting proved to be invaluable during the primary. 

Final Outcome 

The final outcome of the independent expenditure campaign was victory for all five key races. Each identified race won by at least 15%, a solid margin of victory. Our client was more than satisfied with the outcome, and the methods used to ensure the desired result. Each candidate also reached out to our client to express appreciation at the support for their election. With these victories in hand, Sinclair adds the success to our already impressive collection of previous victories in the past with other clients, and an eye to November, where the General Election waits. 

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