Topics: Republican, Digital Marketing, Winning, Wisconsin, Will Hurd, Scott Walker, 2016 Election, Scott Brown, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Brian Kemp, Trump, Elise Stefanik

Republican Digital Top 10 Magical Moments of the 2010s

As a top Republican digital firm, the 2010s was a historic decade.  From top Republican campaigns to grassroots movements and digital advocacy to online fundraising, the decade was nothing short of memorable.

As Republican political campaign wonks, when we think of the 2010s, we will remember periods and moments of consequence that have fundamentally shifted, not just Republican digital campaigns, but the political landscape. Citizens United v. FEC, Obamacare, the Tea Party movement, #MeToo, Election 2016, Republican Presidential campaigns, and Black Lives Matter are just a few of the notable touchpoints that immediately come to mind.

Magical Moments at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

The digital nerds in us cheered on the 2010s, as digital advertising overtook traditional media for advertising supremacy. Americans became more mobile and efficient with smartphones, SMS messaging, “the cloud,” eCommerce, and digital marketing automation adoption.

Here at The Prosper Group, we will remember the 2010s for its top Republican digital magical moments. The top magical moments in GOP digital struck during electrifying political events, game-changing media moments, and big Republican wins. Top GOP digital moments may look easy but generally come as the result of a lot of strategic planning and hard work going on behind the scenes.  

We asked our team to share some of their top GOP digital moments.  So, here is our “Top 10” list,

The Prosper Group Top Republican Digital Moments of the 2010s

1. Scott Brown Money Bomb

This magic moment came early in 2010, as part of the January 17th special election to replace Ted Kennedy. Initially, planning for Scott Brown’s one-day money bomb on January 11th set a goal of $80,000. With 1,000 pledges for $79,000, and polling showing Brown up a point in the race, the campaign reset the goal to $500,000. By midnight, the contributions exceeded $1 million and hit $5 million in five days.

2. Elise Stefanik Takes on Adam Schiff

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has the most recent magical moment on our list. Elise caught the attention of the American viewing public during the recent impeachment hearings for butting heads with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. While Stefanik stood up for President Trump in Washington, activist celebrities helped her Democrat opponent raise more than $1 million over a single weekend. But Elise’s team has been hard at work too. Elise raised $500,000 in just two hours after appearing on Fox News’ Hannity and is helping colleagues raise money for their re-election campaigns.

Elise Stefanik at Campaign Rally

3. Wisconsin Recall Elections

We were fully engaged in the recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and several state senators in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012. You may recall that Walker’s budget bill limiting collective bargaining started the recall wave, drawing both union outrage and an outpouring of conservative support. Having worked to build national fundraising networks for Governor Walker and recalled senators, it was magical first to see the GOP hold the Senate - and then as the effort to recall Walker failed.

4. Will Hurd DC2DQ 2018

In 2018, Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23) was a top DCCC target, in a district that Hillary Clinton had won by 3% in 2016. Seeking new ways to connect with voters, Will hosted a series of town hall events in Dairy Queens across his massive district – dubbed the DC2DQ tour. Thousands of voters turned out, and event videos were shared on social media and in email fundraising campaigns. The success of the tour likely made the difference in securing Will’s 2018 re-election by a slim 926-vote margin.

5. Rick Santorum Sweater Vest Upsell

“It's 100% cotton, made in the USA, comes in grey, and is yours for your contribution of $100 or more.” We have worked with many great candidates and almost every prominent GOP presidential candidate over the last decade. But Rick Santorum’s Sweater Vests were a true fundraising sensation unlike any other. The $100 upsell helped tap into the donor potential of Santorum’s grassroots support in 2012 while capitalizing on his January 3rd Iowa Caucuses win. Some PG team members still have Santorum Sweater Vests in their closets.

Santorum Sweater Vest Upsell

6. Mike Pence Joins Trump Ticket

With headquarters in Indiana, we were excited to see a Hoosier selected as President Trump’s running mate in 2016. And it wasn’t just any Hoosier, but then-Governor Mike Pence - and that made the moment all the more magical. Our team has worked with the Pence Team and the Indiana Republican Party for years, helping with digital projects from voter contact to web design and development to online fundraising to volunteer advocacy.  

7. Three Wins for Brian Kemp

Some campaigns win and lose in critical moments, but most campaign wins come over time – the result of planning, discipline, and dedication. Early in 2017, Secretary of State Brian Kemp was a long-shot in the race for Governor of Georgia. We started a 19-month journey with Brian Kemp and had the opportunity to help make several magical moments happen. The most memorable came after the general election when Brian Kemp defeated Stacey Abrams 50.2% to 48.8%. Earlier in the race, Brian Kemp finished second in the GOP primary to force a runoff election... and then won the runoff 69.5% to 30.5%, defeating the sitting Lieutenant Governor.  

8. Ted Cruz Beats Fundraising Behemoth

Senator Ted Cruz faced a daunting challenge in 2018, as liberal Congressman Beto O’Rourke “caught fire” and gained unprecedented support from liberal Democrats across the country. Beto outraised Senator Cruz 3-to-1, with a record-shattering $38 million fundraising quarter. Senator Cruz invested heavily in digital, and our team went all-in, launching a comprehensive overhaul of the campaign’s digital growth, voter persuasion, and online fundraising programs. We raised $11.8 million in the final months of the race off of 169,537 donations. The magic came on Election Day when O’Rourke conceded to Cruz, who prevailed 50.9% to 48.3%.

Republican Ted Cruz was outspent 3-to-1

9. Daniel Cameron Makes Kentucky History

As we complete this list, Daniel Cameron has just taken the oath of office as Kentucky’s first African-American Attorney General. He is also the first Republican elected Attorney General in Kentucky since World War II, and the first African-American independently elected to any statewide office in Kentucky. On election night 2019, Cameron secured 57% (823,346 votes) of the vote, outperforming Governor Bevin (704,754 votes) at the top of the ticket by 118,592 votes. Working with Cameron has been magical, and the PG Team is optimistic of more magical moments to come.

10. Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

We love to see all our clients win, but in this business few things rival helping put a Republican in the White House. It was magical for the PG Team to work side-by-side with Donald Trump’s team building out a winning digital campaign. Along the way, team members grew as individuals and digital experts. Our team produced what became the most successful email in US politics.  On election night magic built in the air with every state called for Trump. Fox News calling Wisconsin for Trump was electric. And when Donald Trump placed his hand on the Bible and took the oath as 45th President of the United States on January 20th, 2017, that wasn't just magical but historical!

Republican National Convention 2016

Bonus Magical Moment

The Prosper Group Makes Inc. 5000

On August 14, 2019, Inc. released its annual guide of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States... and The Prosper Group made its debut on the list, ranking number 466! For our founders, Kristen and Kurt Luidhardt, as well as the entire Prosper Group team, making the Inc. 5000 was a magical moment recognizing the results of the top GOP digital teams' work and service to clients.

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