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A Brief History of Vote Kids

In 2004, incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards’ victory in Texas’ 17th Congressional District (62% Republican and home of Crawford Ranch) can be attributed largely to Edwards’ pro-kid stance and his opponent’s poor record on kids.

Our pre-election polling showed Edwards trailing by 8 points, but that Republican and Independent women voters over 50 pulled back their initial support for his opponent by 17 and 12 percentage points respectively when his opponent’s poor record on children was read to them. Our post-election polling found that kids’ issues accounted for a full 11 percentage point swing in Edwards’ direction, helping him secure an upset win. Our polling, the press, and Edwards himself all confirmed that kids’ issues were decisive in his race.

In 2006, Vote Kids ran two campaigns spotlighting the records of Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Arizona Representative J.D. Hayworth. A post-election poll conducted by Mason-Dixon found that 16% of Arizona voters considered Representative Hayworth’s negative record on children’s issues important, and it proved to be a factor in his upset loss. It also found that 27% of voters remembered seeing Vote Kids material.

In 2009, Vote Kids issued a mid-term scorecard on the votes of U.S. Senators on key issues affecting children and families. In addition, it ran television and print ads in Kentucky, Nebraska, and Louisiana, among other states. The Kentucky ad pointed out the need to support the President’s first budget. The Nebraska ad focused on health care reform. The Louisiana ad focused on children’s health care, asking politicians to look out for children, not the insurance industry.

In 2012, the Vote Kids Action Fund PAC ran an ad in late October in Virginia called ‘Kaine is for Kids’ to help elect Tim Kaine to the Senate. It featured a child reviewing why Kaine was better than his opponent. Kaine won by 6 percentage points, but it was considered closer than that in the polls until the very end.

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