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AB Leadership Press Releases Pat Dennis Thursday, Jan 4 2024

ICYMI: AB21 President Pat Dennis on The Downballot

Jan 04, 2024

Yesterday, American Bridge 21st Century President Pat Dennis joined the Daily Kos’ The Downballot podcast to discuss the work of American Bridge in holding Republicans accountable and our unique approach on opposition research.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Key Quotes:

  • “We’re quite open about what we do… What we’re really about is, number one, candidate tracking. We have folks on the ground in the states we cover from the presidential race, but more applicable to this podcast, we go down ballot as far as state legislative and sometimes ballot initiatives. Those are folks who just record Republican candidates saying what they’re going to say. And a lot of Republican candidates will say a very different thing to the Moms For Liberty group than they’ll say to the folks who are at the nursing home.”
  • “But when [Donald Trump] did try to steal the election, a lot of down ballot races that other folks never cared about before — national reporters never cared about, you couldn’t get even state house reporters to necessarily report on things, like the secretary of state’s offices  — all of a sudden there was a lot more interest in that stuff.”
  • “If you’re pitching oppo on a presidential candidate and you land a story, it’s one of 15 stories that day and it’s one of a thousand stories over the race. If you’re landing a story on a secretary of states candidate, and it’s something that’s really damaging, that could end up being like 30% of the earned media coverage of the race. It’s different, but it’s a really powerful political tool.”
  • “A lot of folks expect me to say, ‘Oh this incredible, silver bullet investigative story that knocked someone out the race.’ Sometimes that does happen. We were involved in, going way back, Todd Akin saying ‘legitimate rape.’ Our media monitor found that and got that out very quickly. And we’ve had a few other big successes like that over the years. The things that are honestly most interesting to me, because those big, knock-em-out-the-race hits — you’re almost always relying on the Republican to give you that. You have to be there and able to find it, but you can’t necessarily replicate it if the candidate hasn’t done something that is disqualifying… It’s the stuff where it’s a narrative. It’s something about them that’s sort of sticky.”
  • “Really, our paid media is focused around taking real voters, real people… taking real people from the actual state, who are completely unpaid and just have them talk about their opinions on political issues and cut those into ads. That’s what we do, and we find it is absolutely the most effective way to communicate.”

Published: Jan 4, 2024 | Last Modified: Jan 5, 2024

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