Tag Archives: 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Do Endorsements Matter?


Endorsements are everywhere in our proliferated media culture.  Whether it’s a celebrity promoting a product or a politician or organization endorsing a candidate for office, we are constantly being bombarded with various imprimaturs – seals of approval seeking out our money or our vote.

Obviously all endorsements are not created equal – and even the most valuable endorsement can be wasted on a bad product or politician.  But our research has shown that the right political endorsement – delivered the right way – can have a significant impact in turning out voters.

Market Research Foundation (MRF) conducted electoral research in Virginia’s gubernatorial election last fall endeavoring to gauge the impact of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)’s endorsement of Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli.

This experiment – outlined in the report below – revealed that “point-of-sale – door to door, face to face – distribution of information has a significant impact in turnout and issue awareness.”

This is why companies like Verizon are redirecting significant portions of their ad budgets back toward door-to-door sales – previously viewed as an antiquated method of information delivery. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently predicted door-to-door selling would decline by 18 percent by 2018 – but that hasn’t happened. In fact after a modest decline during the peak of the recession in 2009, direct selling climbed by 0.8 percent in 2010, 4.6 percent in 2011 and 5.9 percent in 2012.

Campaigns should take note – especially in light of MRF’s Virginia research showing a nine percent increase in turnout in Virginia amongst those who personally received information about the NVTC endorsement of Cuccinelli.

For more information on MRF’s research, click on the link below …


2013 Virginia Election: Turnout Analysis

How did ethically challenged Democrat Terry McAuliffe manage to eke out a narrow victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in last year’s Virginia gubernatorial election?

According to a new turnout analysis of the election conducted by the Market Research Foundation (MRF), the real question we ought to be asking is “where” McAuliffe eked out his win.

Or rather where Cuccinelli lost this race …

As expected, McAuliffe and the Democrats scored huge wins in the eleven Virginia jurisdictions with high concentrations of black voters. That’s not surprising – even in an off-year election.

These jurisdictions gave McAuliffe his net plurality of 228,147 votes.

(Click to enlarge)

mcauliffe plurality

What was very surprising, though, was the depressed level of GOP turnout. In thirty-eight GOP-dominated jurisdictions, turnout was unchanged from 2009 to 2013 – resulting in lower net gains.

“It is no overstatement to say the GOP campaign left the victory (on) the table,” the report concludes.

What could the GOP have done to turn a 2.5 percent defeat into victory?

Click on the report below to find out …