Planned Parenthood Action Fund

In the Spring of 2011, anti-choice leaders in Mississippi proposed Initiative 26 that sought to add language to the Mississippi Constitution that declared that life begins ‘the moment of fertilization’.   This “Personhood” measure was one of the most drastic anti-choice measures ever introduced. 

PPFA used Catalist data to identify and communicate with those most likely to be affected by this proposed constitutional change.  PPFA’s strategy included identifying those who traditionally supported women’s access to healthcare, but also new constituencies that depend on Planned Parenthood clinics for preventative screenings and routine healthcare.  Of particular importance was the under-served African-American community.

Despite being outspent over 9 to 1, PPFA closed a 31 point gap in just ten days, and the measure was defeated in the November 2011 General Election with an overwhelming 57% voting ‘no’. 

• 412,699 persuadable voters were called

• 797 volunteers filled GOTV shifts

• Over 20,000 doors were knocked

• And over $1.5M was raised


- Cecile Richards, President



With several dozen targeted congressional races in 2012, the DCCC needed a cost-effective way to provide the most accurate support model possible for each candidate at all times during the cycle.   Because of the distinct circumstances of each district and set of candidates, the DCCC needed improvement over a national support score as well as the ability to alter a given model due to real-time changes in any race.

The DCCC provided a stream of polls and field IDs on the targeted districts, and Catalist automated the feed of this data into a custom-built modeling algorith

The Catalist dynamic modeling system produced a high volume of high quality models within time periods that were previously not possible. The rapid turnaround time allows the models to quickly incorporate new polls, field IDs, and voter files so that changes on the ground were reflected in the scores being used. Furthermore, updated voter files were continually rescored to extend scores to new registrants.  In the 50 districts in which custom models were created, Democrats won 30 of those races – and seven out of nine races ended up within one point.m specialized for small geographies and small data samples. The algorithm used the Catalist Partisanship Model as its primary baseline and tailored a robust local model to the circumstances of each race by adding variables such as the Ideology Model, Vote Propensity Model, income, race, and the full complement of Enhanced Analytics variables. 


- Aaron Strauss, Director of Targeting and Data


League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters, a large national environmental organization, has a regional organizational structure with affiliates in more than 30 states. With both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations in their network, managing their membership and member communications is a complex and challenging task. 

Catalist worked closely with LCV to empower their local affiliates’ staff with quality data and tools, and the training needed to use these effectively.  LCV affiliates received hands-on training from Catalist on the Q and M to upload their membership data, match it against Catalist’s database of 280+ million voting age Americans, and analyze their membership using a variety of civic and political attributes.  

Affiliates can now independently load and match their membership on a regular basis, allowing them to append full voter file data and assign their own model scores easily.  Thus, the entire LCV organization has better, faster, and more in-depth knowledge of their membership, while saving the entire organization time and money.

- Gene Karpinski, President



Rock the Vote

In 2008, Catalist helped Rock the Vote tap into Facebook applications to harness the popularity of online social networking among young voters.


The Facebook Action Center, jointly developed by Nico Networks and Catalist, brought an inexpensive but advanced phone banking system to Rock the Vote staff, volunteers and Facebook members through the power of a lightweight application within Facebook. Using the application and a Catalist matched list, Rock the Vote was able to deploy staff, activists and partners to easily make hundreds of phone calls to their peers from their own phones, reminding young voters to turn in their voter registration forms and vote on November 4th.


Rock the Vote launched the application with a mass e-mail to the 44,000 members of its Facebook group. Nearly 1,000 Rock the Vote members used the new tool, with a targeted list reaching over 100,000 people. On their individual dashboards, each volunteer was given a piece of the list - people in key states who downloaded a voter registration form off the Rock the Vote widget, but had yet to make it onto the voter file in their state. Users of the application needed no special training and could start calling people as soon as they added the application to their own Facebook page. And, they could invite their Facebook friends to join the effort by adding the application. Recently Rock the Vote volunteers in Florida organized a phone bank party and completed over 1,000 calls in two days.

The Facebook application let the volunteer record the response and update contact information for each target. In addition, Catalist provided data that allows the caller to ask to speak to another member of the household if the primary target is not available. The simple interface allowed the volunteer to enter the response data, which then can be synced back to the Catalist database, and could then be used by Rock the Vote for future contact programs.

As Election Day approached, Rock the Vote's volunteers used the Action Center powered by Catalist in their “get out the vote” campaign encouraging young registrants to early vote in key states.

- Heather Smith, Executive Director




Over the course of the 2008 election cycle the American Federation of Labor (AFL) used a range of Catalist data to help plan and support their large scale voter contact programs. In the final two weeks before Election Day, the AFL deployed 250,000 volunteers in 20 battleground states whose focus was turning out 13 million voters for the Presidential, 12 Senate and 60 house races.

To accomplish their program goals, the AFL used the Catalist national voter database in a number of creative ways. Early in the cycle The AFL used sampled Catalist data to better understand the battleground in almost 100 Congressional Districts. Not satisfied with a static picture of the election, they constantly refined program resource allocation by conducting over 100 IVR (robocall) surveys in these same districts using Catalist sampled data. In targeted email programs they used Catalist Early Vote data to help refine their contact universes. To improve their targeting in a wide range of mail and phone contact programs, the AFL used Catalist models (partisanship, turnout etc.) as input to their own ID and Obama support models. For their Working America (a community affiliate of the AFL) efforts they used both AFL and Catalist models to “drive their entire set of contact programs”.

Catalist’s rich national database (voters, vote history, census, demographic, commercial and specialty data) has enabled the AFL to better use their internal resources and data driven programs over time with notable results.


- Mike Podhorzer, Deputy Political Director




Sierra Club

Each election cycle, Sierra Club reaches out to its membership in new and innovative ways to help mobilize volunteers to work in targeted races.  In the 2008 election the Sierra Club identified 8 battleground states where they concentrated their efforts for maximum impact in the 2008 cycle. In addition to the presidential race, Sierra Club targeted 3 Senate and 27 House races to support environmental champions and/or oppose candidates who consistently voted against a clean energy future.


Top tier targeted states included NM, CO and NH where Sierra Club successfully recruited members to volunteer on both the presidential campaign and key senate races by leveraging in-state capacity and Catalist data.  In NH Sierra Club supported Jeanne Shaheen’s Senate bid, calling her “a clean energy champion who has long argued in support of tax incentives for households and businesses that adopt practices or new technologies which save energy and protect the environment” while noting that her opponent John Sununu had “a 53% voting record when it comes to supporting the environment and has scored as low as 20 percent in past years.”  They added that “Sununu has consistently voted against measures seeking to scale back unnecessary subsidies and tax breaks provided to Big Oil and is a proponent of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.”


Using Catalist data and services, Sierra Club matched its membership file to produce high quality contact information and leverage additional appended data to better ID volunteers.  The match enabled Sierra Club to successfully recruit over 3,900 club members who collectively volunteered for nearly 8,000 phone and canvass shifts in the targeted races. These Sierra Club members made more than 100,000 voter contacts (phone and canvass) in key races through Election Day 2008.


-  Carl Pope, Executive Director