NEW YORK – Nov. 16, 2018 — Benenson Strategy Group (BSG), a strategic research consultancy, celebrates the Democratic wins across the nation in an election that drew a record number of voters to the polls. Democrats triumphed in key races where they ousted GOP incumbents in decisive districts, picked up governorships, held critical seats and made significant gains in the House.
We applaud hard work put forth by Democratic candidates and their campaigns, and thank our clients and all candidates for their tireless effort. We are proud to have supported several of these victories as the pollster of record.
In these historic midterm elections, BSG continued to empower progressive leaders by contributing to candidate and independent expenditure campaigns for the following candidates.
Bob Menendez (NJ Sen) – Menendez, a Democrat serving as the senior U.S. Senator from New Jersey, defeated opponent Bob Hugin to win re-election. Menendez earned 53.4 percent of the vote, compared to Hugin’s 43.5 percent. BSG’s CEO and founder Joel Benenson personally served as the senior strategist and pollster for Menendez’s triumphant campaign.
Jared Polis (CO Gov) – BSG’s Amy Levin worked on the IE campaign with the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and in-state groups to help Polis handily defeat his Republican challenger. Polis will be the nation’s first openly gay governor and won by a larger margin than any contested statewide race in Colorado in recent memory.
Deb Haaland – Haaland won the tough primary in the New Mexico 44th Congressional District in June, and prevailed again in the general election against Republican congressional nominee Janice Arnold-Jones, securing over 59 percent of the District’s votes. Haaland, who is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, will make history as one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.
Josh Harder – Democrat Josh Harder won against GOP Rep. Jeff Denham in a closely watched contest for a seat in California’s Central Valley. Denham conceded this week after the final vote count showed Harder on top. Harder grew up in the Central Valley and ran a strong campaign focused on health care, bipartisan solutions and local issues. This race was instrumental in the Democrats’ retaking of the House.
Harley Rouda – Rouda unseated California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in California’s 48th Congressional District in a closely watched race against a 30-year incumbent who was perhaps best known as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite congressman. Rouda’s win marked a shift in the Orange County region that has historically been favorable to Republicans.
Nanette Barragán – Barragán, a progressive Democrat who was first elected in 2016 and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, won her race in California’s 44th Congressional District. She earned a sizeable 69.5 percent of the vote to hold onto her seat serving the South Los Angeles and Los Angeles Harbor Region.
Benenson Strategy Group also is proud to have served the teams for multiple victorious ballot initiatives, including:
- Medicaid expansion in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah
- An increase in the minimum wage in Arkansas and Missouri
- Voter rights, including automatic voter registration, same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting in Michigan
- Payday lender reforms in Colorado
- Energy stability in Nevada