As Campaign Manager for Senator Kamala Harris’ election in California, Juan Rodriguez was the chief architect behind the Senator’s historic victory in 2016, when she finished with the largest winning percentage by a non-incumbent Senate candidate in the state’s history.
During this one-on-one interview, Larry Huynh, Trilogy Interactive and Rodriquez discuss how the campaign successfully created coalitions across ethnicity, religion, gender identity, immigration status and income bracket, how they reached voters in every major media market and ultimately how this victory allowed the Senator to go to DC with the force of the entire California electorate behind her. In addition to the summary, login to watch the full webinar recording!
Campaign Strategies Used:
1) The campaign team learned to adapt quickly as new challenges arose. They considered themselves to be, “flying the plane while building it.” Building and developing a campaign infrastructure early on was extremely important for their team.
2) California is unique in many ways, but specifically when it comes to the competitiveness of their Primary election. Because of this, Juan and his team found it most effective to focus a lot of resources on the Primary before the General election Election was underway.
3) Early on, the team recognized that they would need to speak to a national frame. They needed to supplement TV with a developed and thoughtful media campaign.
4) The Harris campaign needed to find a way to distance their candidate from the large pack of names on the primary ballot. They did this by focusing on (and ultimately gaining) the California Democratic Party endorsement.
5) Thoughtful digital engagement was extremely important for this campaign. They engaged with folks through social media and email.
6) Kamala Harris’ goal, through the Harris Coalition, was to bring people together to ultimately advance public policy. This was the framework and structure used to develop her entire campaign.
7) The Harris campaign had the most expensive voter guide in California history. This played an important role in the General Election since voters already knew where Kamala Harris stood on important issues.
8) They made sure to keep voters engaged in campaign activity and with issues on the national frame. The Harris team took advantage of their vast email list, using it to organize supporters and develop a cost effective field campaign by utilizing passionate volunteers. They were able to motivate endorsers—not just for their monetary contributions, but for grassroots operations.
About Juan: Juan is a Partner with SCN Strategies, where he works on a range of campaigns and strategic communications projects.
Previously, as Campaign Manager for Kamala Harris for Senate, Juan helped lead Harris to the largest vote percentage by a non-incumbent Senate candidate in California history, carrying every demographic group, party, and region of the state.
A huge thank you goes out to Juan for sharing his expertise with the AAPC membership!