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TO: Interested Parties
FR: Protect Our Care, Not One Penny, and Clarity Campaign Labs
RE: CASE STUDY: Impact of Accountability for Votes for Health Care Repeal & TrumpTax
DT: May 29, 2018

In Maine’s 2nd congressional district, Clarity Campaign Labs has been polling the impact of an
ongoing accountability campaign in response to Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s votes
for health care repeal and the TrumpTax plan. Clarity polled voters at the beginning of the effort
in August 2017 and then again in March 2018, finding that the combined programs have led to
double-digit reductions in Poliquin’s favorability and increasing voter rejection of his votes on
health care and taxes.

The national Not One Penny (NOP) campaign and a local organization, Mainers Against Health
Care Cuts (MAHCC), have run sustained paid and earned media campaigns in the Bangor media
market focusing on Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s votes. The campaign has had a significant
impact on voters in this district thus far. Specifically, the more that they heard about what
Poliquin voted for, the less they approved of his position and the less they approved of him.
Since August of 2017, the campaign ​has led to a 13 point drop in Poliquin’s favorability
among Independent voters and a 10 point drop among all voters in the Bangor media
market (which makes up 53 percent of the district)​. The results in ME-02 demonstrate clearly
that voters care deeply about these issues and are willing to hold members of Congress who
voted for them accountable for those votes..


ME-02 is the quintessential “Obama-Trump” district, filled with voters who supported Obama in
2008 and 2012 but voted for Donald Trump in 2016. While Trump won ME-02 by nearly 10
points (51.4 percent to 41.1 percent), Obama won by 8.5 points in 2012 (52.9 percent to 44.4
percent) and by more than 11 points in 2008 (54.6 percent to 43.4 percent).

The counties of Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Somerset,
and Washington are all part of the 108 counties nationwide that pivoted, voting Trump in 2016
but Obama in 2012.

The Bangor media market covers 53 percent of the district and is 3 percent more conservative
than the other 47 percent of the district (the average party score in Bangor is 46.3 while the
average party score of voters in the Portland and Presque Isle media markets is 49.2).
From October through today, MAHCC and NOP have been on TV educating voters about
Poliquin’s votes on health care and on taxes. Coupled with significant grassroots and earned
media activity in the district, this communication has served as a constant reminder to Mainers
about the true impacts of the GOP agenda.

The campaign in the Bangor media market began in early October 2017 and included to today
with roughly 8,0000 gross-rating-points from a $620,000 combined investment. The ads include:

Collins v. Poliquin​ — MAHCC ran a TV ad focused on contrasting Poliquin’s vote for
health care repeal with Maine Senator Susan Collin. The ad ran from October 4 to
November 12 in Bangor.

Leisha​ — MAHCC ran this powerful testimonial ad about Poliquin’s health care agenda
in October and November.

Cuts​ — MAHCC ran this radio ad on rural radio in November focusing on the impact of
health care repeal on rural hospitals.

One Again​ — NOP ran an ad about the TrumpTax plan giving tax breaks to the rich, but
raising taxes on the middle class and raising health care costs, especially for seniors.

Oppose the Plan​ — Tax March ran this ad to expose Poliquin for voting for millionaires
not Maine’s middle class. It ran over Thanksgiving.

Half of Americans​ and ​Billions​ — NOP ran two 15s ads contrasting the tax breaks for the
wealthy in the TrumpTax with the middle class paying more and the Trump family
getting a tax break. These ran in February and March 2018.

Protect Our Seniors​ — This ad has been running since mid March (3/12/18) and features
the consequences of Poliquin’s agenda for seniors health care.

Along with the paid advertising, there has been both significant grassroots activity and earned
media campaigns to help educate voters about the negative impacts of both bills. The totality of
communication against Poliquin has done significant damage, and the campaign has found
particular salience among Mainers in defining Poliquin as against their health care.


Survey prior to and after these advertising campaigns conducted by Clarity Campaign Labs show
voters in this district have learned about the damage the GOP agenda on health care and taxes
has caused in their lives while also changing their views on Congressman Poliquin because of
these issues.

Over the course of the campaign, Poliquin’s unfavorable margin in the Bangor media market has
doubled: from -10 (28 percent to 38 percent) in August 2017 to -20 in March 2018 (25 percent to
45 percent).

● Among pure independent voters, the trend is even more profound: Poliquin’s unfavorable
margin has gone from -22 (20 percent to 42 percent) in August 2017 to -35 (15 percent to
50 percent) in March 2018 as voters have learned about his positions.


● Poliquin’s actions on taxes
started with a net disapproval
rating of -6 in August 2017 (19
percent – 25 percent) which
has worsened to -27 today (18
percent to 45 percent). Voters
in ME-02 now oppose the tax
plan itself by -8 (34 percent to
42 percent) up from only -1 at
the start (32 percent to 33
percent). The number who
strongly disapprove the
TrumpTax has grown from 23
percent to 35 percent.
● Poliquin’s actions on health
care started with a net
disapproval rating of -15 in August 2017 (18 percent to 33 percent) which has worsened
to -33 today (15 percent to 48 percent). The number who strongly disapprove the
Poliquin’s action on healthcare has grown from 25 percent to 37 percent.

The surveys conducted in August 2017 and March 2018 were within the Bangor media market
(which makes up 53% of ME-02). Surveys were conducted by live callers to a mix of landlines
and cell phones to randomly selected voters, and sampled and weighted to reflect the registered
voting population of the district within the Bangor media market. The August survey’s sample
size was 825, and the March survey’s sample size was 773, with each having a margin of error of
+/- 3.51 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.


In this quintessential swing district, it is clear that the more voters learn about Republicans’
support of the TrumpTax and health care repeal, the more constituents reject the Republican
incumbent for voting to support them. This evidence also makes it clear that voters see these
policies as a war on their health care and massive tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations
at the expense of working people.