November 4, 2014- Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the following statement after Washington State voters approved Initiative 594, which will close the loopholes in the state’s gun background check system:
”It’s no surprise that the people of the Evergreen State did the responsible thing: they stood up to the corporate gun lobby and stood up for a commonsense law that will make their communities safer. Tonight, Washington voters showed that when Americans are given the chance to vote to close the loopholes that let guns fall into the wrong hands, common sense wins. They also showed that while the gun lobby can intimidate politicians in Washington, it’s a lot harder to intimidate America’s voters. This victory for responsibility in Washington State sends a clear message to the other Washington that if Congress is not ready to act to reduce gun violence, voters in states around the country can and will take the matter into their own hands. Leaders in Washington, D.C. should take note.”
ARS PAC PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: INITIATIVE 594
Targeted Direct Mail Persuasion Campaign: Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) executed a highly targeted direct mail campaign to residents of Washington State clarifying the differences between Initiatives 594 and 591.
To determine which households should receive these mail pieces, ARS performed a randomized controlled experiment in conjunction with its partners. In the experiment, a random sample of likely voters were divided into two groups: one of the groups was sent four pieces of mail, and the other group received no mail and served as a control. Voters in both groups were surveyed by phone to determine their views on the initiatives. Based on survey responses combined with voter-registration and consumer data, every voter in the state received scores indicating how likely the mail would be to change their mind, and by how much.
Based on the survey responses, each Washington voter’s expected response to these mail pieces was modeled, indicating whether their support for 591 and 594 could be expected to increase or decrease as a result of the mail. ARS and its partners then sent mail only to likely voters whose support of 594 was expected to increase, and whose support of 591 was expected to decrease.
Among the group of voters surveyed, ARS PAC’s mail pieces increased voter support of I-594 by 8.2 percentage points, and decreased their support of 591 by 5.4 percentage points among the individuals modeled as mail-receptive. If these rates from the experimental group held in the population at large, ARS PAC’s mail program in Washington would have changed the minds of nearly 20,000 likely voters on initiative 594, and nearly 13,000 on initiative 591.