Winning Mark
We help progressive campaigns win.
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We're based in ballot measure ground zero.

We're based in ballot measure ground zero.

Oregon and South Dakota may argue about who invented the Initiative and Referendum system, but in Oregon we take the cake for utilizing it.  We have worked on over 100 statewide and local ballot measures in over a dozen states, with a winning percentage of over 90%.

Reinventing the Voter Guide

In the ballot measure world, there is probably no more famous direct mail program than Winning Mark’s 2008 Defend Oregon Voter Guides. We constructed a program of variable guides, each targeted to a different voter model, e.g. truly undecided moderate voters, progressive voters, more tax-sensitive and conservative voters, voters particularly concerned with education and younger GOTV targets. The Analyst Institute not only found them to be remarkably effective, they said that the guides by themselves defeated two of the most dangerous measures on that year’s ballot. Often imitated, never duplicated, we are entering our second decade of voter guides.

Defend Oregon’s ballot guides improved the vote margin in statistically and substantively significant ways . . . In terms of the total vote margin, the estimated effects are remarkable.
— Analyst Institute

Boundary Testing

In 2004 developers and the (un)wise use movement passed Measure 37, which took a bulldozer to the landmark land use laws that used urban growth boundaries to protect the farms, forests, waterways and special places of Oregon. As it moved towards full implementation, a spectacular natural heritage was about to be enveloped by sprawl and mass development. Winning Mark provided general consulting, direct mail and digital to help construct and pass the answer: 2007’s Measure 49. Our mail program ranged from a 16-page book to a geocoded, personalized letter that showed development claims within 5 miles of the recipient. In one two-year election cycle, we turned a 60-40 loss into a 60-40 win that literally saved a state.


Working Hard for Hard Working Families

When unions are under attack for defending workers, we are proud to defend them.  Oregon’s Ballot Measure 64 would have crippled the ability of union members to have a voice in the political process.  But as with many of these measures, it was deceptively worded to leave the impression that it would protect members’ rights, instead of taking them away.  We helped design direct mail to union members that made it crystal clear who was being targeted, and why – a key factor in the narrow defeat of the measure.