Post Election Report
VIRGINIA 2021 - Post Election Report
Our Program at a Glance
paid digital impressions
Victory for 5 out of 8
CASA in Action-endorsed legislative candidates
paid digital impressions
Victory for 5 out of 8
CASA in Action-endorsed legislative candidates
While no individual victory is ever certain, what is certain is the power of a united and organized working class will win in the end.
While we are deeply dissatisfied with the losses in this election, we are proud that our efforts on behalf of our endorsed candidates down-ballot helped to mitigate the damage. We know this is only a temporary setback in our journey to winning justice. This year’s election has shown that CASA in Action’s strategy to win, which leverages deep relationships within the immigrant and working class communities of Virginia, can grow Democratic voting blocs and mobilize voters at scale even in the face of electoral headwinds. These relationships take their strength from our work within these communities every day of the year.
This work would not be possible without the generosity of our donors, who, recognizing the danger posed to vulnerable communities by Governor-elect Youngkin’s policies, gave copiously and early. We are grateful for their commitment to justice in present and future struggles.
Our work has resulted in significant gains at the state level for CASA in Action's members and their communities: drivers' cards for undocumented people, a minimum wage increase, resources for non-English language instruction in schools, and more. These victories must now must be defended from the incoming Youngkin administration, for the sake of our 120,000+ immigrant and working class members. Our efforts will be equally successful in opposing the agenda of the new conservative administration in the Commonwealth and retaking power for pro-immigrant legislators in future elections.
Our 2022 fight back to power and justice in Virginia and beyond begins today.
Our Strategy to Win
CASA in Action invested heavily in field and communications programs in districts across Prince William County and Virginia Beach. Applying our passionate and experienced grassroots canvassing teams and world class communications team, CASA in Action dedicated ourselves to mobilizing every possible voter in our progressive coalition. Our field team put in an astounding 894 shifts over our 2.5 month program, hitting nearly 70,000 doors while our powerful messaging reached 5.76 million digital impressions. Though statewide results were disappointing, we’re proud that our work had definite and tangible impact.
Democratic vote share in CASA in Action’s core turf in Prince William County has shown, even amidst this year’s statewide GOP victory, a net percentage increase in Democratic votes since 2017 compared to the whole state, which our organizing has made possible. That said, obviously there is major room for improvement in other regions of the state. Because of funding incapacities, the Virginia Beach area was under-canvassed (as compared to the full ambition of our program), and as a result did not send CASA in Action-endorsed candidates to the House of Delegates. This is a region ripe for political transformation and we believe greater attention to this region will bring great returns moving forward.
Our Endorsed Candidates
This year, CASA in Action endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor, Hala Ayala for Lt. Governor, Mark Herring for Attorney General, and the full slate of Democratic candidates for the General Assembly, working to get them elected in the key areas of Prince William and Fairfax Counties as well as the Virginia Beach area. While we were disappointed to suffer from narrow defeats at the top of the ticket, it also must be acknowledged and celebrated that a robust five out of the six candidates for the House of Delegates which CASA in Action endorsed for the NOVA region were elected, proving that where CASA in Action is funded and organized, we get out the vote.
CASA in Action’s endorsements are an integral part of the formation of the Democratic field every cycle. Our endorsements are only given via a rigorous democratic process in which candidates must prove directly to our members that they have true commitments to the fight on behalf of the immigrant and working class communities.
Field Canvass Program
|By County||Knocks||Voters Canvassed (%)|
|Prince William||49,786||11,538 (23.18%)|
|Virginia Beach||16,057||3,153 (19.64%)|
|By District/Race||Knocks||Voters Canvassed (%)|
|HD 2||12,328||2,761 (22.4%)|
|HD 31||17,585||4,114 (23.39%)|
|HD 50||5,233||1,243 (23.75%)|
|HD 51||14,640||3,420 (23.36%)|
|HD 83||9,574||1,712 (23.18%)|
|HD 85||6,483||1,441 (19.64%)|
Empowering Black and Brown Voters
In 2021, CASA in Action set out to mobilize the same multiracial, multigenerational coalition that has worked to bring victory after victory to Virginia over the past five years into the fight for the governor’s office, protecting our gains in the Commonwealth, and deepening progressive control of the government. These goals were even more imperative because of a cavalcade of traumatic events--the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising climate crisis, and the specter of Trumpism--which our communities have bravely borne. This focus on community empowerment is reflected in the breakdown of who we canvassed:
Voters Canvassed by Race
|Demographic Group||Voter Households Targeted (all modes)||Total Contacts (all modes)||Contact Rate|
Capitalizing on a significant investment in enhancing our digital capacity over the last 18 months, CASA in Action now boasts the largest, most experienced, most talented team in our history. That team, in concert with our state partners, developed powerful and effective messaging that reached the largest digital audience in any individual state campaign in CASAiA history. This election, we focused on fully integrating messaging and media with our door program to execute a truly holistic approach to voter engagement. Working in an unlimited coordination state also allowed us to round out this work with memorable and effective campaign events alongside our candidates, as well as earned media hits to raise our visibility and reach more voters with our messaging.
Organic social featured a high number of canvasser-created content: canvassers sent in photos and videos of their experience on doors and talking to voters. Paid social ads on the other hand featured 504 ads: high-quality videos for candidates at the top of the ticket, static ads for local candidates, and ballot information for the low-propensity voter targets. Ultimately, these ad sets tracked how voters move down through the CASA in Action take action funnel within the field universes.
|Paid Ad Impressions||Paid Ad Reach (FB/IG only)||Organic Social Reach|
In this door knock re-targeting strategy, ads used API data on Facebook to target individuals that CASA in Action has door knocked. The first step in the funnel was to market a “Why your vote matters” style ad to them so that they see the brand kicking them to a landing page with candidate and election information. As part of the funnel, they were then re-targeted with a series of ads about the candidates. The second audience expanded beyond the field universes to include cold contacts of Black and Latinx low-propensity voters (as indicated by the tag ‘does not engage with in political content’). The targets received the same funnel of ads with the final ad set of a pledge to vote, which generated leads for the campaign.
|Media Market /
Digital Target Region
|Demographic: Age (18-65+), Gender (Male, Female), Language (English/Spanish), Income (under $75k), Geo (VA)||Organic: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter|
|Behaviors/Interests: Latin American music, Bachata (music), African-American music, Black Lives Matter, Hip hop music, BET or R&B/Soul, Hispanic culture, Latino culture||Paid: Facebook Ads, boosted FB posts and Lives, Google Ads, Pandora, radio (Spanish language), other traditional media|
Organic Social High Performers
“We are proud of the work invested in electing a progressive group of delegates. A special congratulations to Candi King, Elizabeth Guzman, Briana Sewell, Luke Torian, and Michelle Maldonado…” read our release: https://t.co/u1nJeG6oUf pic.twitter.com/0rqw0Hus0v— CASA in Action (@CASAinAction) November 3, 2021
Paid Social Ad Samples
“These victories have already resulted in tangible state-level gains for CASA in Action’s members and the broader immigrant and working class communities,” closed Estela Esquivel, CASA in Action Member. “From drivers’ cards for all, growing minimum wage, increased resources for ESL language instruction in schools, and tuition equity for families, we have seen the power of our community when we stand together and vote for champions that will fight for us in Richmond.”
Turnout by CASA in Action County
While Prince William County has consistently outperformed the state overall in terms of overall democratic vote share, thanks in part to CASA in Action’s work, Democratic vote share in Prince William County beat the state Democratic vote share with an 8.4% margin, the largest such margin in more than 5 years. This overperformance helped drive 5 of 6 CASAiA-endorsed candidates in the region to victory.
Due to resource constraints on our program, we unfortunately were unable to allocate the full complement of resources we had wanted to Virginia Beach, and while our teams there did outstanding work, the less-robust program we were able to run in that region shows in the results.
|County||D Votes||Democratic Vote Share||% Share vs all State|
Performance vs 2017 Results
CASA in Action helped drive major increases in Democrat voter turnout in Prince William County. While the number of Democratic votes cast statewide in 2021 vs 2017 increased by 12.43% overall, our progress at Democratic voter turnout in Prince William County was nearly double that statewide growth, increasing by more than 24%.
|County||Change in Total Dem Votes from 2017-2021||Dem voter turnout performance improvement vs state avg (12.43%)|