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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 30, 2022

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

Senate

Arizona:  After several mid-September polls found Republican US Senate challenger Blake Masters pulling to within the polling margin of error against Sen. Mark Kelly (D), two new surveys see the two-year incumbent pulling back ahead by a more substantial margin.

Suffolk University’s (9/21-25; 500 AZ likely voters; live interview) latest study reports a seven-point spread in the Senator’s favor, 49-42%.  Marist College’s new likely voter survey (9/19-22; 1,076 AZ likely voters; live interview, text & online) found a slightly smaller Kelly lead, 50-45%.  The Arizona race continues to be one to watch, especially considering the late GOP surge that occurred here in 2020.

Colorado:  Emerson College tested the Centennial State electorate (9/18-19; 1,000 CO likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) and found Sen. Michael Bennet (D) leading GOP businessman Joe O’Dea by a ten-point, 46-36%, margin.  Republicans have tagged this race as an upset possibility, but this poll shows little weakness for the Democratic incumbent who is seeking his third full term.

North Carolina:  The North Carolina Senate race has been tight for weeks, but now we see three separate pollsters all finding the race status languishing in a flat tie.  The Cygnal polling organization (9/24-26; 650 NC likely voters), Meredith College (9/20-23; 731 NC likely voters), and the Global Strategy Group (9/12-20; 800 NC likely voters) all project tied results.  Cygnal sees Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) each attracting 44% of the vote.  Meredith College finds both with 41%, while GSG’s total is 46% apiece.  Obviously, the North Carolina Senate race is one of the closest in the nation with just over a month remaining and early voting beginning.

Pennsylvania:  Several polls have been released regarding the Pennsylvania Senate race during September, and all but one has shown Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) closing on Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D).  

The new Marist College poll (9/19-22; 1,242 PA registered voters; 1,043 PA likely general election voters; live interview & online) sees Mr. Fetterman holding a 51-44% advantage, but the result appears to be an outlier.  Five other pollsters, surveying during the September 6-24 period find the Fetterman advantage to only be slightly more than three percentage points.  On the other hand, 23 Pennsylvania Senate surveys have been released since the May primary and Mr. Fetterman has been posted to a lead in all.

Utah:  Polling data suggests that the Utah Senate race is the closest campaign that attracts the least national attention.  A new Dan Jones & Associates survey for the Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics (9/3-21; 815 UT registered voters; 786 likely general election voters) finds Sen. Mike Lee (R) ahead of Independent Evan McMullin by only a 37-34% margin.  Though this poll has a very long sampling period, which adversely affects accuracy, it is consistent with some others we’ve seen of this race.

In the early part of this month, both Impact Research and Kurt Jetta, polling for the Center Street PAC, found the candidates languishing within a combined four-point range.  Impact Research actually found Mr. McMullen claiming a one-point edge.

Back in April, the majority of Utah Democratic Party convention delegates voted not to field a candidate for the purpose of coalescing behind Mr. McMullin.  Though he is more conservative than what most of the delegates would have desired in a candidate, they did want to see McMullin have a one-on-one shot to challenge Sen. Lee.

Washington:  The Trafalgar Group (9/21/-24; 1,091 WA likely general election voters; multiple sampling techniques) just released data that no other pollster has even remotely found.  According to this most recent Trafalgar result data, Sen. Patty Murray’s (D) lead over Republican Tiffany Smiley has dropped to just two percentage points, 49-47%.  Though Trafalgar has proven itself very accurate in the elections since 2016, this poll appears to be an outlier.  

In the most recent surveys conducted during the Sept. 6-15 period from Public Policy Polling and Elway Research, Sen. Murray holds an average lead of eleven percentage points.  Still, Ms. Smiley’s effort is the strongest we’ve seen from a Washington statewide Republican candidate this century.  Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling quickly countered with a new survey of their own (9/27-28; 770 WA voters).  The PPP response gives Sen. Murray a much stronger 52-40% advantage.  In the August 2nd Washington jungle primary, Sen. Murray outpaced Ms. Smiley, 52-34%.

House

FL-22:  In February, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) announced that he would leave the House before the end of the current legislative session in order to assume the leadership of the American Jewish Committee.  At the time, Mr. Deutch said he would leave sometime on or around October 1st.  Late last week, the Congressman confirmed he will officially resign his seat before September ends. 

It is unlikely that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will have the time to call a special election to replace Mr. Deutch for a probable lame duck session since Florida law dictates a relatively long voting schedule period once such an election is called.  Therefore, with the party nominations being decided in the August 23rd primary, the new 23rd District will remain open until the new Congress convenes on January 3, 2023.  In the open seat general election, Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz (D) is favored over Republican Joe Budd in a South Florida district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates D+9.

MT-1While Montana’s new western 1st District seat was drawn as a Republican CD – the FiveThirtyEight data organization projects a R+10 partisan lean – former US Representative and ex-US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (R) leads Democratic Monica Tranel by just a 43-41% count according to the latter’s internal Impact Research poll (9/14-19; 400 MT-1 likely general election voters; live interview & text).

The result is not particularly surprising considering that Mr. Zinke had a close call in the Republican primary, edging former state Sen. Al Olszewski by just a 42-40% split.  Mr. Zinke’s image is his problem, according to the Impact Research survey.  His favorability index stands at a poor 39:54% positive to negative.  Perhaps more troubling, 55% of the poll respondents agree that Mr. Zinke is “out for himself,” and 50% characterize him as “corrupt.”  The new MT-1 is a must-win for the Republicans if they are to capture the House majority.

NY-19 In August, Democrat Pat Ryan (D) won the 19th District special election against Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R).  Democratic strategists were claiming the result was an upset and a precursor of good things to come for their party in the 2022 general election.  In actuality, President Biden carried the district by two percentage points in 2020 and the Democrats won the last two congressional elections, so declaring a Democratic victory in such a seat as an upset is a bit of a stretch.

The new 19th District, that has some additional territory stretching along the Pennsylvania border, is actually more Democratic (D+4) than the special election seat that Mr. Molinaro lost.  Since Rep. Ryan decided to seek re-election in the 18th District, Mr. Molinaro has a new opponent in attorney Josh Riley (D).  Despite his loss, a new Triton Polling & Research survey (9/20-22; 658 NY-19 likely general election voters; interactive voice response system) posts Mr. Molinaro to a surprisingly large 51-42% majority.  The GOP nominee winning this seat would be a huge step toward Republicans claiming the House majority with a substantial margin.

OH-1:  The court-drawn Ohio congressional map was not kind to veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati).  The new 1st District now leans toward the Democrats with a three-point margin.  The latest Impact Research internal poll for the Greg Landsman campaign (9/17-21; 506 OH-1 likely general election voters; live interview & text) gives the Democratic challenger a predicted 49-46% lead over the Congressman. 

Mr. Chabot was first elected in 1994, but lost the seat in 2008.  He regained it in the 2010 election, and has been re-elected in the last five consecutive elections against formidable opponents.  Winning this race is critical to Republican majority prospects. 

Governor

Arizona The aforementioned new Arizona Marist College Poll (see Arizona Senate above), while posting Sen. Mark Kelly (D) to a 50-45% advantage, also finds Republican Kari Lake taking a slight 46-45% lead over Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.  To a large degree, this poll must reflect similar numbers to what the Hobbs campaign is seeing, which explains her new ad pitch that sees her echoing Republican calls for income and sales tax reductions and/or elimination.

OklahomaAt the beginning of September, the media sponsored Sooner Poll sounded the alarm bell for Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) by publishing their poll giving the incumbent only a one-point lead over Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D).  Since the polling sample was small (402 respondents statewide), only minimal attention was paid to the results.  Yesterday, however, an Amber Integrated survey was released (9/19-21; 500 OK likely general election voters; live interview & online) that found the Governor leading Ms. Hofmeister with a similar 47-44% margin.

With two polls showing the same basic result, we can expect the Stitt campaign to unleash a major advertising blitz to strengthen his areas of weakness within the traditional Republican voter base. 

OregonA just-released DHM Research survey (9/23-24; 600 OR likely general election voters) finds former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) taking a one-point lead over former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D), with strong Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state legislator, dropping well back. 

The ballot test gives Ms. Drazan a 32-31-18% edge over her two opponents.  When the pollsters asked a second question just centered around the three top contenders, the ballot test actually strengthened Ms. Drazan slightly, to a 35-33-21% margin.  The last time a Republican was elected Oregon’s Governor came in 1982.  In terms of the state’s status perception, just 25% said that the Beaver State is headed in the right direction while 62% replied that Oregon is on the wrong track.

Texas Another Texas gubernatorial survey was released in the Lone Star State, and it again shows Gov. Greg Abbott (R) maintaining a significant but not particularly large lead over former US Representative and short-term 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D).  The Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation conducted a survey of the state electorate (9/6-15; 1,172 TX likely general election voters; online) and found Gov. Abbott leading well beyond the polling margin of error in this study, 51-44%.

Since September 6th, four Texas gubernatorial surveys have been commissioned from four different polling entities and they post Gov. Abbott to an advantage between five and nine percentage points.  Expect this trend to continue until the final two weeks of the campaign.  At that time, we will likely see the Governor pull away from Mr. O’Rourke and record his traditional 10+ point victory margin as he has in his first two terms.

 

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Question for the Record (QFR)

When limited hearing time and complex issues intersect, questions for the record – also known as QFRs – can be the best opportunity for organizations to raise an issue in a constructive manner and gather further information. Well-crafted questions for the record may elicit nuanced and detailed responses, especially from federal agencies, that would otherwise be difficult to obtain during a verbal back-and-forth in a hearing.