Freshman Orientation

April 2, 2015

The honeymoon phase for Congressman Don Cazayoux after his upset victory in the Louisiana special election for CD06 was short lived. Cazayoux had just won in a district that had gone for Bush in 2004 with 59% of the vote. He had an October primary and needed to solidify his base in this Red district. Cazayoux had a sizable franking budget to spend before the black-out dates in July and was looking for ideas.

Our goal was to “shock and awe.” We had to raise Congressman Cazayoux’s profile in the district immediately to prove to the critics that he was ready to lead. This Blue Dog had to find new friends quickly.

We targeted white, suburban voters with the understanding that they would be a skeptical, if not hostile audience. We also invited members of the media to make sure they saw the new Blue Dog Congressman reaching out to across the aisle. We knew Don Cazayoux had been an accomplished state legislator who was a quick study of complex legislation. We wanted to show his immediate mastery of the issues before Congress and his natural fit as a Congressman. We needed voters to focus on him as the incumbent problem solver rather than a nervous rookie.

The telephone town hall was very successful. Over the course of an hour, almost 5,400 constituents participated in the mid May forum, including members of various local media outlets. During the call Cazayoux fielded many questions from his constituents and engaged them further by getting them to participate in poll questions about pressing local issues. Cazayoux could see the results of the poll questions in real time so he was able to tailor the content of the Forum on the fly to address what the listening audience wanted to hear. 


Archive by date