FP1 is proud to have partnered with the Republican Governors Association (RGA) to help elect Governor Joe Lombardo in Nevada in 2022. We were the media consultant on the RGA’s $20 million IE in the Silver State, and we are proud to have elected the only Republican Governor in 2022 in a state that had been carried by Joe Biden.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo faced a significant funding disparity in his race against incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak. Sisolak ended up raising $15 million dollars to Lombardo’s $6 million. The fact that Sheriff Lombardo had to win a semi-competitive primary made his funding disadvantage even more pronounced. Given the inherent edge that Democrats have with party registration in Nevada, this presented a serious challenge for the Lombardo campaign and the RGA’s IE to overcome.
With a marquee U.S. Senate race also occurring at the top of the ticket, the television rates for outside groups in Nevada were skyrocketing. This meant that every one of the RGA’s IE ads in the Las Vegas and Reno media markets needed to hit the mark. In developing our advertising strategy for the Nevada governor’s race, we relied on the findings of a series of focus groups and our benchmark survey. Our research showed that voters were angry about the state of the economy and inflation, but that they didn’t necessarily blame Steve Sisolak for the state of their finances. While we had messages on the economy that cut against Sisolak, our research revealed there were even more compelling after we established that Sisolak had been more concerned with enriching his donors and himself than fighting for working families. Our advertising campaign drove this narrative from start to finish. We ran several tough testimonial ads from Nevadans on the economy. We also used hard-hitting studio spots to hammer our message in a cluttered media environment. Due to the fundraising challenges Lombardo had throughout the campaign, we ran several contrast ads that reinforced our negative messages against Sisolak while presenting Lombardo’s forward-looking agenda to improve the lives of Nevadans. In the vital Las Vegas media market, education and crime were on par with the economy as top issues of concern to voters. We ran negative testimonials from a public school teacher and a police officer that cut hard against Sisolak.
Sheriff Lombardo ended up defeating the better-funded Governor Sisolak by a narrow one-point margin. This victory is even more impressive when considering that Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won reelection. We were able to win the support of swing voters in this purple state because we had a better message strategy and superior creative. FP1 is proud to have been a part of the team that put Joe Lombardo in the Governor’s office in Nevada.