Measured Politics is a new PAC focused on electing more Democrats to state legislatures while measuring the effectiveness of our efforts in a scientific way. We drive money to underfunded campaigns in select states by vetting, endorsing, and fundraising for large groups of Democratic challengers that most Democratic donors wouldn’t otherwise come across. In addition, we use the breadth of our fundraising efforts to publish peer reviewed political science papers to demonstrate the effectiveness of different fundraising activities.
Measured Politics takes a scientific approach to political activism.
In 2018, Measured Politics hopes to raise $100,000 for Democratic candidates challenging GOP incumbents in Iowa. This is a state where Democratic challengers are often woefully underfunded, and where the legislature leans more towards the GOP than would be expected based on Presidential vote totals. Making even small changes in the legislature can result in much better outcomes for the people living there.
In each state we operate in, we chose a pool of serious state House candidates—Democratic challengers who are running strong on-the-ground campaigns. The study design, a randomized controlled trial, allows us to accurately test the effect our fundraising has on these candidates.
Over the coming election cycles, our political science consultant (Ella Foster-Molina of Swarthmore College) will analyze the results of this trial in order to publish two peer-reviewed scientific papers. Each paper will examine whether campaign donations increase the vote share for Democrats. This will be unprecedented randomized, controlled trial of the effects of money in state politics.
The first paper will be on the direct effect of our fundraising on each candidate: whether and how much fundraising affects the vote share of each candidate. The second paper will look at the reverse-coattail effects our fundraising had, to show whether it also helped turn out the vote for other state-wide Democratic campaigns.
We strongly believe that our efforts will be effective, but no one has publicly quantified this effect using the gold standard experimental design: randomized controlled trials. Running these studies is the only way to reveal where money is effective and where it is being thrown away.