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  Case Studies: Hilltop In Action



U.S. Senate: Balance of Power

The Challenge:
In the fall of 2006, Democrats need a team to run their Independent Expenditure (IE) campaign in the most contested state in the country: Virginia. The IE was needed to combat an incumbent with $23 million in the bank. They turn to Hilltop because of our experience in crafting and communicating winning messages in red and purple states.

The Hilltop Solution:
With control of the United States Senate in the balance, Hilltop coordinates a team of pollsters, media consultants and researchers to put together an aggressive four-week, $6.3 million television and radio campaign opposing Senator George Allen and supporting his challenger, Jim Webb.

Hilltop devises a strategy to paint Allen as out of touch with Virginia. Given Allen’s massive cash-on-hand advantage, our effort is designed to get him to spend his money responding to attacks, as opposed to spreading his message. With the airwaves filled with television ads, Hilltop charges its team with coming up with innovative and clever ads that cut through the clutter. Hilltop specifically focuses on character and fitness for office, as opposed to traditional partisan issues or attacks that do not work in states like Virginia. As a result of Hilltop’s nimble and outside-the-box approach, the team is able to seize on George Allen’s famous “Macaca” moment with one of the first paid ads focusing on the game-changing gaffe.

The Result:
Jim Webb narrowly defeats George Allen in one of the closest races in the country, handing control of the United States Senate to the Democrats. The DSCC’s Independent Expenditure campaign in Virginia, run by Hilltop, is credited with being a major factor behind Webb’s impressive victory and the Democrats’ control of the Senate.



US Senate: Balance of Power


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