POLITICAL CASE STUDY - The Sterling Corporation
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Ballot Box

In the 2014 election cycle, Sterling was hired to maintain Republican majority in the Michigan Senate. Before this election, Republicans held 26 seats in the Senate. However, 2014 was the first general election since the electoral boundaries map had been redistricted, leaving a 20% increase in toss-up races. Sterling’s responsibility was to create a winning strategy to maintain the Senate Republican majority by reelecting incumbents and winning the newly created Senate seats.


  • Developed strategic political plans to win each district.
  • Made recommendations to and decisions with client on best tactics to deploy leading up to Election Day.
  • Oversaw research (including public opinion polling, Republican candidate research, and opposition research).
  • Worked alongside the candidates, supportive groups, and the Senate Republican Campaign Committee to create a seamless message on the 2014 political battlefield over the course of six months.
  • Coordinated message and script development, as well as ad production.
  • Deployed strategic messaging across various advertising platforms such as political direct mail, broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, phones, and digital.


  • Spent over $8 million from May to November — 85 percent of which were in five battleground districts — to secure a record-breaking victory for the Senate Republicans, bringing the Republican-elected seats to 27 – the largest supermajority seen in modern Michigan history. Sterling helped to:
    • Reelect all Republican incumbents
    • Win eight highly contested races
    • Expand the Senate Republican majority by one seat
  • Following public opinion research and district reporting, Sterling created winning messaging to promote and contrast candidates. Additionally, Sterling designed the advertising placement to ensure the messaging was delivered to the targeted audience.
  • Successfully engaged with the opposition to counter and dismiss their messaging with voters.
  • Expanded the margin of candidate support in contested Senate districts, allowing the Senate battleground to be narrowed to four seats in the critical final three weeks leading up to the election. This advantage allowed us to leverage our significant financial resources to win 100% of the contested races in 2014.

Advertising, Direct Mail, Elections & Campaigns, Focus Areas, Government, Political