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Read winning trends and ideas from our team of experts.

Republican’s Final Frontier: Local Elections

Political systems in the US are looking mighty red after sweeping Republican victories in 2016. The GOP controls the White House, US Senate, US House of Representatives, 33 gubernatorial offices, and 32 state legislatures. To borrow from Star Trek, local elections are the final frontier. County and municipal elections remain a strength for the Democratic […]

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State Legislative Affairs in the Trump Era Requires Grassroots Advocacy “Air Support”

As I’ve written before, Donald Trump’s election to President of the United States was not the beginning of the era of populism. It is simply a significant marker on the path we’ve been on politically and a marked strengthening of the discontent voters feel, which is driving the type of individuals being elected. That phenomenon […]

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Real Polling is Not Broken

While on a panel in Las Vegas for the 2017 Reed Awards, we dove into the topic of the reliability of polling. After the well-documented number of polling misses revealed in the November election, the polling industry was deemed unreliable and inaccurate. However, it should be noted that myself and other pollsters I hold in […]

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The New State Legislative Grassroots Advocacy Process

A vocal minority beats a silent majority, and a sound strategy trumps haphazard noise. Ask Hillary Clinton’s campaign if you don’t believe me. While Clinton won the popular vote, the 2016 presidential election was ultimately decided by Trump’s ability to strategically activate voters in key areas, leading to a strong electoral college victory. Let this […]

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State Legislative Elections Are Erratic so Track & Plan Ahead

The smaller an electorate, the more unpredictable the results become. 135,835,472 voters showed up in the November 2016 General Election (67% of registered). Only 14.8% of registered voters participated in the GOP Primary. Out of those, 14,015,993 supported Trump, which translates to 7% of the electorate. Now think of the effect on even smaller races, […]

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3 Ways to Prepare Your Legislative Issue for Battle

I’m taking us back to my military roots. As my first platoon daddy told me upon entering an M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle for the first time… hang on and enjoy the ride. Army leaders have a process called Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) which is part of the overall Military Decision Making Process […]

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4-Step Process to Build A Digital State Advocacy Dynasty

Tom Brady is the best NFL quarterback of all-time. At least that’s the argument after the Brady-led New England Patriots completed their improbable second-half comeback to win Super Bowl LI earlier this week. Whatever your view on Brady’s legacy, it’s hard to classify the Patriots’ five Super Bowl championships over the past seventeen years as […]

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Capitalize on the Populist Wave in State Legislatures

Donald J. Trump’s election to President of the United States was not the beginning of a populist wave in America. He instead rode a tsunami previously started by an earthquake in state legislatures around the country. Although more noticeable in Republican-dominated states, populism affects all fifty state legislatures and is growing each election cycle. Interest […]

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How We Benefited from a Wake-Up Call…and Associations Can To

I’m a resolutionphile. Okay, maybe I created that word just now, but the fact remains – I am an enthusiast for resolutions. Every year at the end of December and beginning of January, I am excited about more than just Christmas and New Years. At Cygnal and most other places, we set resolutions all the […]

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Consultants: Demystify Digital by Taking a Packaged Approach

A new year brings new battles. Whether you are gearing up for a legislative issue fight at the Capitol or preparing for a heated primary race, digital should play a greater role in your 2017 and 2018 political operations. Despite President-elect Trump’s wild digital success, skepticism still remains about its application for down-ballot races. Without […]

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