Michelle Hinchey was a first-term Senator when she was redistricted into a race against a popular, longtime Republican incumbent. Parkside had helped guide Hinchey’s narrow victory in 2020 in a tough district, and we knew this would be another challenging run. But given Hinchey’s strong fundraising and hard work in the parts of the district she already represented, we believed that with a disciplined message and effective targeting, she could peel off independent and Democratic-leaning voters who had voted for her opponent in past cycles.
As the campaign’s consultants for digital and television advertising as well as polling, Parkside knew that effective campaigns for State Senate have to tap into relevant national issues that are beneficial for Democrats while remaining rooted in the specific district in which one is running.
Parkside’s polling showed that many Hudson Valley voters in her district would be voting with abortion rights on their minds, but we also identified and tested local issues gleaned from the opposition research. Her opponent’s vote against a little-noticed proposal to tackle sky-high energy bills in the district that had been sponsored by Hinchey, combined with her acceptance of campaign contributions from the same utility company that was overcharging customers, proved a potent attack. Using these national and local issues as comparisons of the two candidates’ willingness to stand up for their constituents, Parkside produced positive and negative television and digital video advertisements that reinforced each other. And Parkside maximized Hinchey’s fundraising advantage by making smart and targeted television buys in a district with nearly a dozen cable markets. Similarly, our digital media strategy involved purchasing pre-roll and OTT video directly on the marketplace rather than through bundled packages to ensure we were securing quality impressions on the apps and channels voters actually watch.
Hinchey surprised the political world and pulled off a win with 54% of the vote, surpassing her previous election result and firmly establishing her as a rising star in New York. Parkside’s blend of national and local issue messaging, delivered with smart and rigorous targeting, ensured that Hinchey was able to win a tough race in a new district.
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