In the case of Charles Djou’s fundraising success in Hawaii, there were two key factors: creating a narrative and planning ahead. People don’t give money to a lost cause, nor do they give to something they aren’t invested in. To paint Djou as a GOP up-and-comer, the next Scott Brown if you will, we had to tell a unique story. So we framed this race in terms of the symbolic importance of winning back Obama’s home district (#obamadistrict). That idea sold people as to why this race was important to win.
We may have sold people on the idea that Djou was the next Scott Brown, but we didn’t actually want him to be. Much of Brown’s fundraising hike came too late in the race to be utilized in the campaign, a luxury we couldn’t afford in this three-week, mail-in special election.
Djou’s moneywave was planned around the idea that people would vote early in the three-week period. So the wave washed ashore over a month before the election, two weeks before ballots were sent out. Through targeted online advertising and charged fundraising emails, Djou’s wave raised $100K. An analysis by Smart Media Group showed that Djou outspent his opponents and the vote share was directly correlated. Thus, Djou’s #obamadistrict wave landed in him in DC.