Tammy Baldwin ran to make a difference. She ended up making history, too.
Initially an underdog running against a living Wisconsin legend, Senator
Tammy Baldwin’s disciplined campaign defined her iconic opponent as “not for you anymore” — an approach devised and executed by The Strategy Group.

“He’s Not for You Anymore”

Wisconsin voters, many of whom voted for Tommy Thompson four times, needed permission to vote for Tammy Baldwin instead. The Strategy Group made a subtle, but important, change to the TV scripts, mail, and other communications. The tag line “He’s not for you anymore” acknowledged that voters had voted for Tommy Thompson in the past, but that he had left them to make $13 million lobbying for the very special interests that were sticking it to Wisconsin’s middle class.

The core contrast that drove Tammy Baldwin to a surprise upset win over the four-time governor was the difference between Baldwin, the champion of middle-class Wisconsinites, and Thompson, who had cashed in at a DC lobbying firm.

Who do you believe, the granddaughter raised by her nanna who depended on Medicare to pay her medical bills, or the DC lobbyist who had promised to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?

We told the story of how Tammy Baldwin was raised by her grandparents and how she saw firsthand how important Medicare was to seniors on fixed incomes. This contrasted with widely reported videotaped remarks of Thompson promising Tea Party extremists “who better than me to do away with Medicare and Medicaid.”


votes to win

with 52% of

the vote.

Analyzing results of every statewide race in the past two decades, we found that Democratic women candidates actually performed better outside of the Madison and Milwaukee media markets than their male counterparts. Marrying this data to the baseline polling, we found that older, non-college-educated, married, white women in these areas, to whom Tommy was a popular figure, were open to women candidates and were the keys to winning. Using state-of-the-art modeling, we were able to hone in on the most persuadable targets in these areas.

We projected Baldwin would need 1,562,029 votes to win with 52% of the vote. We were off by just 0.6%. Of the 16 counties where Baldwin ran ahead of Obama, eight were in a fringe mail universe.

After trailing by double digits in early polling, Baldwin won a smashing victory over Tommy Thompson just months after Republican Scott Walker cruised to victory in the 2012 recall. Tammy Baldwin is now the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly gay senator in U.S. history.