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September 21, 2012

Memo to Interested Parties: NARAL Pro-Choice America Strategy to Reach “Obama Defector” Women

This week, NARAL Pro-Choice America rolled out the next phase of its 2012 electoral program.   The program centers around targeting “Obama Defectors” - women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but who are currently supporting Romney, weakly supporting Obama, or holding back from turning out to vote in 2012.

NARAL Pro-Choice America enlisted the help of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR) to create models targeting these women based on their pro-choice values. This is the only turnout model like this in existence. It focuses on 25 key counties, which allows for more efficiency and thus allows us to maximize communications to a small, hard-to-find audience.  No other group will be able to find these women as efficiently as NARAL Pro-Choice America.

While the economy remains a top issue in this election, there is no doubt that is front and center. From campaign ads and convention speeches to overall media coverage, the reproductive-rights issue can add real value and NARAL Pro-Choice America is best positioned to maximize those returns.

What We Did:

  • During June and July, NARAL Pro-Choice America worked with GQRR to complete more than 20,000 interviews to identify the set of women in battleground states who are most likely to have voted for President Obama in 2008, but who are not supporting him strongly in 2012.  Using microtargeting, these women were also categorized as pro-choice or anti-choice.  We built three models – choice, persuasion, and turnout. We then cross referenced them to identify the pro-choice women most likely to be Obama defectors.

  • GQRR identified two kinds of “Obama Defectors”: 1) Persuasion Defectors --those most likely to have voted for Obama in 2008 and are either supporting Romney, are undecided, or are only “soft” Obama supporters in 2012 and 2) Turnout Defectors --those most likely to have voted for Obama in 2008, are strong supporters now, but are less likely to turn out in 2012.

  • Women most likely to be pro-choice and most likely to be a persuasion or turnout defector were identified in 25 counties in nine battleground states: CO, FL, IA, NC, NH, NV, OH, VA, WI.


  • There are 338,000 women in these battleground counties who are most likely to fit the pro-choice Obama Defector persuasion profile.

  • The majority of the most likely pro-choice Obama Defector women are independent and between the ages of 18 and 39.

  • If these voters are reminded of the contrast between President Obama’s position and an anti- choice candidate’s position on choice, they are more likely to vote for President Obama.

What it Means:

  • NARAL Pro-Choice America will now be able to maximize efficiency in targeting its resources to communicate directly with prime voter targets with a specific pro-choice message.  This means more communications to likely defectors and less wasted resources.

Media Coverage:

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and NARAL Pro-Choice America Target Pro-Choice Obama Defector Women in 25 Key Swing State Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2012. Washington, DC.

Working with NARAL Pro-Choice America, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research has built a one-of-a-kind “Obama Persuasion Defector” model.  The model allows NARAL Pro-Choice America to identify the set of women who are most likely to be pro-choice and to have voted for President Obama in 2008, but who are now voting for Mitt Romney, another candidate, are undecided, or are only weakly supporting the President.  Additionally, GQRR built an “Obama Turnout Defector” model—women who voted for the President in 2008 and strongly support him now, but are less likely to vote in 2012.

Selected media coverage includes:


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