In 2019, Jumaane Williams selected Slingshot Strategies as the primary data and polling vendor for his Public Advocate campaign.
We conducted initial polling to identify geographic regions where Williams had existing support. Then, we worked to determine where messaging generated the most opportunity for Williams to pick up new support.
We produced neighborhood targeting maps and regional profiles, incorporating data on custom voter metrics, preferred modes of campaign outreach, candidate and issue preferences, as well as media consumption habits.
We partnered with Williams's campaign to compile a citywide messaging plan. Our work was used by the Williams campaign to craft a strategy for mail, field, media, and digital outreach resource deployment.
Electoral results validate Slingshot targeting guidance and outreach recommendations. Williams’s best electoral performance was precisely where our polling and targeting predicted: Southeast Queens, Western Queens, Central Brooklyn, Northern Brooklyn, and Uptown Manhattan.
Our final product — a sophisticated piece of highly actionable internal research — proved to be highly useful to Jumaane Williams's winning campaign.
Case 2: America in One Room
In 2019, Slingshot worked with the Stanford University Center for Deliberative Democracy to organize America in One Room, the largest political experiment in recent history.
America in One Room was a forum for political discussion, bringing together over 500 participants from across the country in "the most representative sample of the American voting electorate in U.S. history," according to A1R's organizers. Researchers tracked participants' opinions throughout the event. Through dialogue, polarization decreased, providing a roadmap for a future of more productive political discourse.
Slingshot served as the political advisor to a team of academics and non-profits, including the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, NORC at the University of Chicago, and By the People Productions. Outside of logistical and strategic advising, Slingshot worked to recruit an array of high-profile candidates to speak at the event, including Julián Castro and Michael Bennet. Slingshot also helped the A1R communications team maximize event coverage in order to spark widespread dialogue beyond the event itself.
"[A1R is] a reminder that behind every opinion lies a human being with real experiences and a story to tell."
President Barack Obama
"This is the kind of tool that can affect change in American democracy at scale."
Henry Elkus, CEO of Helena
"In an era in which we’re increasingly polarized as a country and even facts are under fire, the idea that an event devoted to political debate can increase knowledge, decrease skepticism of the other side, and bolster participants’ faith in democracy — and their place in it — certainly seems like good news."
Case 3: Federal Primary Challenges
Since 2018, Slingshot has consulted on, managed, and polled numerous federal primary challenges across the country, including work with advocacy group Data for Progress and in New York's 12th and 17th congressional districts.
Our partnerships with challengers landed us a spot on the DCCC Blacklist — a coalition of vendors, organizations, and consultants proudly supporting a new generation of bolder, forward-looking candidates.
Data for Progress
In partnership with Data for Progress, Slingshot surveyed likely voters in several key primary elections to study incumbent vulnerability and foment primaries with challengers in those districts.
Our initial round of coverage was released on the first day of the 2019 House session.
Our polling and analysis built on existing narratives that were dominating the news at the time, including the Green New Deal and Pelosi’s imminent speakership vote. Our work sparked widespread coverage from critical news outlets and also yielded op-ed opportunities for Data for Progress.
Suraj Patel: New York's 12th Congressional District
Slingshot managed and directed policy for Suraj Patel's 2018 campaign against longtime incumbent Carolyn Maloney. When Patel mounted a second challenge in 2020, Slingshot consulted on the campaign.
New York's 17th Congressional District
Slingshot conducted landscape polling on the viability of a progressive challenge in NY-17. Our data highlighted incumbent vulnerability and an interest in progressive leadership, initiating a challenger-friendly media cycle and eventually leading to the retirement of a 27-year incumbent.