“Winning political races requires coming up with different solutions to unforeseen obstacles, and the Cygnal team provided wise counsel and insight to help us navigate them all. The Mullin victory is a testament to Cygnal’s ability to provide campaigns with data that leads to action.” — Matthew Parker, COO, Campaign Advocacy Management Professionals
Markwayne Mullin found himself the instant frontrunner in the special Republican primary election for U.S. Senate against T.W. Shannon in the summer of 2022. Mullin, well-known in the eastern part of Oklahoma for his time in U.S. Congress, knew the final 5% of the vote to avoid a runoff would be nearly impossible. Shannon, well-known statewide from a previous run for U.S. Senate, was doing enough to threaten the runoff. Deciding whether to push hard for Mullin to gain the last share of the vote or to accept the runoff and allocate resources for the runoff was the conundrum.
Then it became a question of which rural parts of the state to reach, how, and with what message. Getting out early and owning conservative issues and deciding when and with what sequence to present Mullin’s messages was another task.
Cygnal was engaged early to help develop messaging and figure out if a runoff was inevitable or if it could be avoided. Most undecided voters were in parts of the state where Mullin wasn’t as well-known, and targeting those voters in a short period of time was challenging.
To get these voters to hear from Mullin – and earn their vote – it was crucial to determine the differences in the media markets and the types of voters that live in each market. This gave the proper information to identify the key voters and when to get to them – in the primary or in the runoff. Getting the most important messages for Mullin in front of these audiences was simplified by using Cygnal Message Maps and Segmentation Analysis.
Propelled by an endorsement from Donald Trump, heavy messaging regarding the border, and Mullin’s conservative experience, the campaign maximized it first-round vote share without wasting resources to seal the deal in the runoff. Mullin beat Shannon 66% to 34% in the runoff. Cygnal had Mullin’s ballot share correct each step of the way – a more important statistic when gauging the probability of a runoff and likelihood to succeed in said runoff.