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What do you want to accomplish in Washington?

The answer to this question will guide all stages of our work for you. Our bipartisan lobbying team connects public and private institutions with policymakers at the highest levels of government, including the U.S. Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. We build comprehensive lobbying strategies aligned with your organization’s objectives and values and have decades of experience in consistently delivering successful outcomes.

 

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We know the paths to success and can help you navigate pitfalls along the way. We pride ourselves on being deliberate yet nimble. The rapid pace of change in today's regulatory and political environment demands continuous situational awareness and the capacity to adjust at a moment's notice.

Advocacy

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Whether you want to influence legislation, modify regulations, or retain what’s working well, we can help you navigate the volatile D.C. landscape and lead you to success.

Our firm is bipartisan, and we can connect your organization with key policymakers so you can develop meaningful relationships inside and outside government. Our team has deep experience in understanding the complex public policy that governs our given industries. We coordinate Congressional lobbying days, industry events, seminars, and briefings that position your organization in front of your target audience. Should your organization encounter heightened scrutiny from an agency of the Executive Branch or find yourself in the glare of a Congressional investigation, we can help you successfully traverse the process. 

Analysis

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Stay up-to-speed on the political issues and activities that may affect your priorities and your strategy with our customized systems for research, due diligence, and legislative tracking.

Knowledge is power. This maxim is particularly true in Washington, where policy and political changes can instantly upend an organization's long-term goals. It is critical that you have up-to-the-minute knowledge on policy trends in Washington and the capacity to distinguish between activity and action. Our customized research systems not only help you respond more effectively to pending Congressional or regulatory actions but also flag possible risks, analyze challenges, and uncover new opportunities. From ongoing, client-specific bill tracking to legislative and regulatory due diligence on an investment or transaction, our analysis can play a critical role in informing your decision-making and navigating the pathway to success.

Coalitions

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Amplify your message by linking your priorities to those of other entities. Our blended coalitions incorporate thought leaders and potential supporters from both obvious and unexpected places.

To be truly heard, your message does not need to be louder — it must be stronger. We serve as your connector to partners, pinpointing the most effective allies, securing their support, and following through with a plan for a unified front that can take your initiative to the next level. These partners could include associations, individuals, philanthropies, researchers, think tanks, government agencies, investors, NGOs, and other coalitions and can often come from unexpected places. We think creatively about building coalitions, and by linking your priorities to those of other entities, your message can be strengthened and your reach extended.

Messaging

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In the noisy political din of Washington, a clear, compelling message speaks volumes. We craft your message so it resonates with policymakers and speaks their language.

Consistency is key. Through whatever channels we push your message, it will stay consistent, track closely with your ultimate goal, and most importantly, ring true for the players you are targeting. Depending on the exact need and utilizing the full legal and policy resources across our firm, we can develop draft legislation and amendments, highly effective position papers, report language, testimony, congressional correspondence, and regulatory comments. We work with a talented team of in-house graphic designers, copy editors, and printers to produce sophisticated, eye-catching publications, leave-behinds, digital documents, and videos.

Strategy

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Our comprehensive government relations and public policy plans are client-specific and highly-focused.

We serve not just as your guide to Washington but as your strategic partner. We build our strategic plans around the values of our clients, and those values are reflected in every step of our political initiatives. Our bipartisan team can custom-tailor an approach that refines your message, targets key decisionmakers, identifies potential allies, and proactively plans for opposition. Your strategic plan could include the identification and management of PAC proposals, the development of a targeted public relations campaign, or recommendations about which boards, associations, or philanthropic causes can best support your goals.

Related Services

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BallotBoard: BallotBoard for period ending September 23, 2022

This weekly roundup of election news and notes is compiled for Thompson Coburn by the The Ellis Insight

Senate



Arizona:  The Trafalgar Group’s new Arizona survey (9/14-17; 1,080 AZ likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) sees Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D) previously large lead dwindling to 47-45% over Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters.  

Earlier in September, Emerson College (9/6-7; 627 AZ likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) arrived at exactly the same conclusion: Sen. Kelly leading 47-45%.  Remembering that the 2020 Senate race closed quickly against Kelly, limiting him to a 51-49% victory over appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R) after leading by an average margin of 6.6% through 21 conducted October polls according to the Real Clear Politics polling archives, the 2022 race looks to be headed toward a very interesting conclusion.

Arkansas:  It has been assumed that Sen. John Boozman (R) secured a third term in office when he won his contested Republican primary back in March.  A Hendrix College/Talk Business Net survey, from the organizations that regularly sponsor Arkansas political polls, finds Mr. Boozman in predictably strong shape for the November election.  The survey (9/12; 835 AR likely general election voters) gives the Senator a 44-31% advantage over civil rights activist and realtor Natalie James (D).  

Georgia:  In what is proving a seesaw affair between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL and University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R), the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll (9/5-16; 861 GA likely general election voters) again detects a change in leadership.  The last three polls posted Sen. Warnock to leads between four and six points, and now the AJC/UGA data finds Mr. Walker moving ahead, 46-44%.  

Another survey, from YouGov polling for CBS News (9/14-19; 1,148 GA registered voters; online) shows the same two-point margin but in Sen. Warnock’s favor, 51-49%.  The exhaustive poll asked 72 questions, and while Sen. Warnock is clearly more favorably viewed that Mr. Walker, the vote continues to remain virtually even.  

New Hampshire:  It appears that Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and various Republican strategists and consultants were correct to forecast that retired Army General Don Bolduc (R) would not be a strong opponent against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in the November election.  Three polls have now been released since the state’s September 13th primary election, from Emerson College, the American Research Group, and the University of New Hampshire.  The surveys were conducted between the September 14-19 period.  All three pollsters find Sen. Hassan leading the race with margins between 8 and 13 percentage points.  

Ohio:  In the mid-August through early September period, three pollsters found US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) snatching the polling lead away from GOP author J.D. Vance.  The research entities Impact Research, Suffolk University, and Fallon Research, in studies conducted during the August 17 through September 11 time realm, found Rep. Ryan trending ahead with margins between one and six points.  

Two news polls, however, see the race flipping back to Mr. Vance.  Emerson College (9/10-13; 1,000 OH likely voters; multiple sampling techniques) and the Civiqs survey research entity, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (9/10-13; 780 OH likely general election voters), and in the field during the same period, see Mr. Vance now holding close leads of 44-40 and 48-45%, respectively.

Utah:  It took awhile to rebuff the Impact Research group’s early September poll that posted Independent Evan McMullin to a 48-47% lead over two-term Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), but we now see conflicting looks as to what may be happening in this largely under-the-radar Senate challenge.  OnMessage (9/13-15; 700 UT likely voters; live interview), polling for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), reports Sen. Lee to be holding a 51-34% advantage, a major difference from the Impact Research survey of two weeks earlier.  

Following OnMessage, Lighthouse Research (8/30-9/13; 509 UT likely voters), polling for the Utah Debate Commission, projects the Senator to be holding a similar 48-37% margin over Mr. McMullin.  Utah’s strongly Republican voting history suggests that these two latter polls finding Sen. Lee holding a substantial edge are likely more reflective of what will happen on election day rather than the McMullin poll.

Wisconsin:  Since the August 9th Wisconsin primary, we’ve seen several polls conducted of the Wisconsin Senate campaign.  Immediately after the nomination vote, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) opened the general election cycle with a polling lead.  Marquette University Law School, a regular Wisconsin pollster, found Mr. Barnes holding a 52-45% advantage over Sen. Ron Johnson in their August 10-15 poll of 713 likely Wisconsin general election voters.  

Late last week, Marquette released a new survey (9/6-11; 801 WI registered voters; live interview) and the law school research organization now posts Sen. Johnson to a slight 48-47% advantage.  Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Election site (9/10-13; 780 WI likely general election voters), confirms the Marquette result.  They find Sen. Johnson up 49-48%.  Though his leads are small, the Johnson trend line is positive.

House



FL-2:  When the Florida redistricting map was adopted, most agreed the incumbent getting the worst draw was three-term Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee) who saw his Tallahassee to Jacksonville 5th District split into several parts.  Left with tough choices, Rep. Lawson chose to seek re-election against Republican incumbent Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) in the new 2nd District.  

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates this seat that stretches from Tallahassee to the Emerald Coast as R+17.  The Dave’s Redistricting App data group calculates the partisan lean as 54.5R – 43.8D.  

A new David Binder Research (D) poll (9/14/18; 600 FL-2 likely general election voters; live interview & online) finds Rep. Dunn holding only a 49-43% lead, however, which is a closer result than one would expect from a district with such strong Republican base numbers.

IA-3:  In one of America’s tightest congressional districts, Rep. Cindy Axne’s (D-Des Moines) campaign just made an interesting move.  The Congresswoman’s political leadership released Rep. Axne’s new internal Impact Research survey (9/7-11; 500 IA-3 likely voters; live interview & text) that reports she and her Republican challenger, state Sen. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant), are tied at 47% apiece.  

The point of releasing the poll, however, is to show emphasis on the abortion issue among the respondents, which the campaign strategists believe will swing voters to the Democratic incumbent.  Even when knowing Sen. Nunn’s abortion position, however, the best Rep. Axne can do is tie, suggesting that despite deep disagreements over the issue in the central Iowa region it does not appear to be bringing any more voters into Axne’s camp.  Her 47% support figure quoted in this poll is consistent with her two 49% victory percentages in 2020 and 2018.  

OR-5:   The Democratic survey research firm Global Strategy Group, polling for the 314 Action super PAC (9/1-8; 400 OR-5 likely general election voters) finds Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) in the May primary election, leading businesswoman and former local mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), by a tight 41-38% margin.  

PA-8:   In what is appearing to be a classic example of a Democratic incumbent claiming independence but seeing Republican forces producing stats showing total compliance with the Biden agenda, the people of Pennsylvania’s northeast 8th Congressional District are dividing evenly.  The Republican polling entity, Cygnal, surveying for the Jim Bognet campaign (9/6-8; 440 PA-8 likely general election voters), finds the two candidates, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) and Mr. Bognet, tied at 48-48%.  At a R+8 partisan rating according to the FiveThirtyEight polling organization, PA-8 is the second most Republican district in the country that elects a Democrat to the House.

WA-3:  In late August, Expedition Strategies released a survey (8/19-20; 400 WA-3 likely general election voters) that was cause for concern among local southwest Washington GOP activists and supporters.  After Republican Joe Kent and Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez denied Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) advancement into the general election from the August 2nd jungle primary, ES released their survey that gave the Democrat a 47-45% lead in the general election.  

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling, surveying for the Northwest Progressive Institute, (9/19-20; 834 WA-3 voters; live interview & text) now projects Mr. Kent to have overtaken Ms. Perez with a 47-44% slight margin.  The WA-3 race is a must-win for the GOP if they are to reclaim the House majority, so this race merits further national attention.

Governor

Florida:  We haven’t seen a Florida Governor’s poll in weeks that showed enough change to report upon, but late this week two such surveys were almost simultaneously released.  Both largely confirmed that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a lead beyond the polling margin of error.  Civiqs, polling for the Daily Kos Elections site (9/17-20; 617 FL likely general election voters; online), posts the Governor to a 52-45% advantage over former Governor and recently resigned Congressman Charlie Crist (D).  Suffolk University (9/15-18; 500 FL likely general election voters; live interview) derived similar results.  They project the Governor’s lead over Mr. Crist to be 48-41%.

Georgia:   The aforementioned Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ University of Georgia poll (see Georgia Senate above) also tested the state’s hot Governor’s race.  Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has been performing strongly in the polls since his landside 74-22% victory over former US Senator David Perdue in the May Republican primary.  The AJC/UGA numbers give the Governor a 50-42% advantage beyond the polling margin of error over former state House Minority Leader and 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (D).

Minnesota:   In a race where the polling has been inconsistent during the past few months, Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy has released a new ballot test result from their research study conducted for the Minneapolis Star Review and Minnesota Public Radio (9/12-14; 800 MN likely general election voters; live interview).  The M-D conclusion finds Gov. Tim Walz (D) leading former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R), 48-41%.  

Ohio:   We are seeing places around the country where pollsters are producing very diverse ballot test results even when testing an electorate within the same time realm.  The Ohio Governor’s race is another such example.  A Civiqs organization poll, surveying for the Daily Kos Elections site (9/10-13; 780 OH likely general election voters; online) projects a close race developing between Gov. Mike DeWine (R) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D).  The Civiqs ballot test projects Gov. DeWine to hold only a 44-41% edge.  

Emerson College, however, sees a much different margin when polling within exactly the same time frame.  Their poll (9/10-13; 1,000 OH likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) yields the Governor a wide 50-33% spread over Mayor Whaley.  The latter poll result is more consistent with other publicly released surveys for this campaign.

Oregon:   One of the more interesting gubernatorial campaigns is found in the Beaver State of Oregon.  The fact that Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state Senator, has a legitimate chance to win the race is what makes this campaign unique in the 2022 election cycle.  Ms. Johnson has done better in fundraising than either Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, the former state House Speaker, and Republican former state House Minority Leader Catherine Drazan.  She is also competitive with the two major party nominees in the various statewide polls that have been conducted.

Thus, Green Party nominee Nathalie Paravicini dropping out of the race and endorsing Ms. Kotek, as she did this week, actually becomes significant.  The race has the potential of splitting close to evenly among the three candidates, meaning each has a legitimate chance to win.  The Green Party candidate, even with only a percentage point or two of support, encouraging her voters to back Kotek could prove significant in the final count on election night.
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Compromise and Settlement Authority

The Biden Administration has been reviewing options to address a nearly $2 trillion problem facing Americans: student loan debt. Since taking office, the Biden Administration has extended the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan payments, canceled billions in student loans for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities, expanded the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and is expected to issue billions in borrower defense repayments.