Interview: VALOR AMERICA, The Science Behind Crafting Red Pills
Valor America PAC's President, Joseph Arlinghaus, is a very affable man, which is surprising given his fondness for flipping the tables. “We got probably a thousand phone calls and I couldn’t listen to half those because there was so much vulgarity and anger.” He described the reaction from Democrats in response to his PAC’s ad in the Texas gubernatorial race as one of visceral frustration.
Liberals had every reason to be upset. Before his ad their candidate was polling head of Greg Abbott. Afterward, they were stuck watching her poll numbers fall by the day.
In a comparison of the DNC and GOP political machines, the Left still holds major advantages in the realm of data and analytics. Though the Republicans have been playing catch up for years, the party’s consultants are still dominated by intuitive guesswork and hunches based on the experience of gray-haired prognosticators.
Valor America stands out among the thin roster of right wing data-based consultancies in both its collection and analysis models. Beyond that, it utilizes persuasion know-how to craft red pills with nuclear spiciness and then delivers the payload with pin-point accuracy and last-minute timing flipping key demographics just before voting day.
The audio ad cut for Governor Greg Abbott’s run for Texas governor is a prime example. Released with only five weeks left in the campaign, the ad delivered a coup de grace to Wendy Davis’ election dreams. As Joe Arlinghaus reveals in our interview, “Abortion Barbie” was caught in a perfect trap, incapable of responding without drawing more attention to her extreme views.
Valor America is doing with data science what Donald Trump did with his campaign rhetoric – shock the right people from their complacency while boxing his opponents into indefensible positions.
Like Trump’s verbal jabs, the PAC’s methods are cost-effective. By laser-focusing their ads on narrow target audiences with a demonstrable potential to flip, less money is wasted on pointless advertising that cannot persuade. The result is a method that is as much as seven times more efficient than traditional attack ads that spam the airwaves.
“In almost any election, the methods we use, when compared to what is normally done, will add two, three, even four percent to the Republican candidate’s vote total,” he explains.
As good as this sounds, the PAC still finds itself contending for a seat at election strategy sessions against entrenched party consultants. Valor America fights to be heard among the din of experts using the same models and ideas used for generations. “The biggest problem in the Republican campaign world is the gut instincts of the professionals,” he explains.
In 2013, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid by a narrow margin. After absorbing damage caused by months of “war on women” attack ads, the candidate lost by a mere 2.5 percent margin --- far less than the 7 percent the polls had predicted. Had the Cuccinelli campaign listened to data regarding the toxicity of his opponents’ views on abortion, the race could have ended with an entirely different result.
Valor America is promoting strategies that capitalize on the 2016 election, targeting the same Trumpian coalition powering the current surge in GOP popularity while the Dems struggle to even make payroll.
Arlinghaus is optimistic on Republican prospects in 2018, pointing to both polling and enthusiasm on the Right, while the Left resorts to an alienating consortium of angry communists and Antifa street agitators.
The interview is well worth listening. Those interested in the science behind red pills, the world of political advertising, and the inside machinations in 2018 need to hear this.
If you feel like donating, please visit Valor America’s website.