January 04, 2017

Senate Battleground Voter Education

During the 2016 election, the Alliance for Retired Americans set out to educate voters in key battleground states about Social Security. The Alliance’s campaign had two components – an online paid ad campaign and grass roots earned media events.

Facebook and YouTube video ads highlighted the records of incumbent GOP Senators in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania and Rep. Heck in Nevada in favor of privatizing and cutting Social Security. The ads featured children engaged in stereotypical retiree pursuits — golfing, playing board games and slow dancing to a Benny Goodman tune – making the point that no matter one’s age, all Americans are counting on their earned Social Security benefits. Voters were urged to contact their elected officials and tell them to expand Social Security, not destroy it. The 30-second ads were viewed more than 1 million times by older voters in these states.

Several hundred key Alliance activists held news conferences, demonstrations and other events designed to bring attention to Social Security records of incumbent Senators in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin as well as Rep. Heck in Nevada.

Alliance members demanded that their elected officials sign pledges to protect and expand Social Security, not privatize or cut benefits. In Reno retirees held a bake sale to dramatize what they would have to do if their Social Security were cut, attracting coverage from Channel 4 News (Fox). In Florida retirees were joined by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka at a news conference outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Tampa, which was covered by several local outlets including the well-read Florida Politics website. (Links to other sample articles are below).

All of the events were shared on the Alliance’s Facebook pages reaching an additional 50,000 potential voters in the battleground states.

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