For-profit

270 Strategies

Website:

www.270strategies.com

Location:

Chicago, IL

Type:

Left-Leaning Political Consulting Firm

Founders:

Mitch Stewart

Formation:

2013

270 Strategies is a left-of-center, for-profit political consulting firm founded by veterans of former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. The group has used data analytics and messaging techniques developed during the Obama campaigns to support a variety of left-of-center PACs and policy advocacy organizations.

In 2013, 270 Strategies was founded by Organizing for America national field director Mitch Stewart and other Obama campaign staff members including Jeremy Bird, Meg Ansara, Betsy Hoover, Lauren Kidwell, Marlon Mitchell, and Lynda Tran. In 2008, Bird was the South Carolina field organizer for the Obama campaign, while Stewart was the Iowa field organizer. In 2012, the two rose to the top of the campaign, with Bird as battleground states director and Stewart as national field director. After President Obama’s re-election, Bird and Stewart founded 270 Strategies as a political consulting firm based on their campaign experience. [1]

Political Work

In the 2014 election cycle, 270 Strategies received payments from eight political action committees. The firm’s largest client was Ro for Congress, which supported U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA)’s successful congressional campaign. Ro for Congress paid 270 Strategies $377,110 that cycle. 270 Strategies also ran the digital strategy for Ready for Hillary (later renamed to Ready PAC), a PAC which later supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Ready PAC paid 270 Strategies $301,621. Battleground Texas, a PAC trying to turn Texas into a state controlled by Democratic officials, paid 270 Strategies $199,375. 270 Strategies also worked for then-Newark mayor Cory Booker (D-NJ) for $113,549 for his successful senatorial campaign. [2][3]

In 2015, 270 Strategies worked in Israel for Victory 2015, a group seeking to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Its unsuccessful campaign was noted for the similarities between its grassroots strategies and messaging and those of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, even using the phrase “hope and change” in its advertisements. [4][5]

That same year, 270 Strategies worked for ResponsibleOhio, a group that campaigned for a state ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Ohio. 270 Strategies received $115,000 for its consulting services. Though the ballot measure was defeated, medical marijuana was legalized the following year. [6]

In the 2016 election cycle, 270 Strategies received payments from 12 PACs. The firm’s largest client was Black PAC, which paid 270 Strategies $397,836 for its services. The second-largest was Women Vote!, which paid the firm $200,000. Ready PAC paid 270 Strategies another $147,770. [7][8]

In the 2018 election cycle, 270 Strategies received payments from 33 PACs. Its largest vendor was Swing Left, a PAC formed to oppose then-President Donald Trump, which paid 270 Strategies $511,665. The American Civil Liberties Union, Rufus Gilford for Congress, and End Citizens United all paid the firm around $300,000. [9]

270 Strategies has also been hired by Farmigo and Planned Parenthood, though descriptions of their work for these organizations have been deleted from the firm’s website. [10]

270 Strategies was largely inactive during the 2020 election cycle. [11]

2021 Democratic Party Review

After the 2020 election, many Democratic Party insiders were concerned about the lack of electoral success in state and local elections, despite President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Trump. In February 2021, four major Democratic groups – the Latino Victory Fund, Collective PAC, Third Way, and End Citizens United – launched an effort to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Democratic political strategy to improve its results in future elections, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities with whom Democrats underperformed in 2020. The investigation will consult with three major groups in the House Democratic Caucus: the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition. [12]

270 Strategies has been hired by the groups to conduct interviews and analyze electoral data. [13]

Partner Organizations

270 Strategies lists a number of left-of-center partners, including Planned Parenthood, the Democratic National Committee, Tesla, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers, Texas Children’s Hospital, the Chicago Cubs, and the New Democratic Party, a social-democratic political party in Canada. [14]

Criticism

In 2014, Buzzfeed News reported that 270 Strategies offered campaigns six-weeks of unpaid labor by young staffers for a fee of $5,000, paid to 270 Strategies. The program was allegedly intended to serve as an educational opportunity for young prospective campaigners. Other Democratic campaigners criticized 270 Strategies for exploiting young, enthusiastic political workers for money. [15]

References

  1. “270 Strategies.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/270_Strategies. ^
  2. “Booker turns to 270 Strategies.” Observer. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://observer.com/2013/06/booker-turns-to-270-strategies/. ^
  3. “270 Strategies.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/270_Strategies. ^
  4. “270 Strategies.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/270_Strategies. ^
  5. Glueck, Katie. “Hope and change, the Hebrew edition.” Politico. February 15, 2015. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/hope-and-change-the-hebrew-edition-115193. ^
  6. Skodzinski, Noele. “Marijuana legalization campaign ResponsibleOhio has spent nearly $1.3 million.” Cannabis Business Times. February 6, 2015. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/marijuana-legalization-campaign-responsibleohio-spent-nearly-1-3-million/. ^
  7. “Vendor/Recipient: 270 Strategies.” Open Secrets. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/campaign-expenditures/vendor?cycle=2018&vendor=270+Strategies. ^
  8. “270 Strategies.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/270_Strategies. ^
  9. “Vendor/Recipient: 270 Strategies.” Open Secrets. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/campaign-expenditures/vendor?cycle=2018&vendor=270+Strategies. ^
  10. “270 Strategies.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/270_Strategies. ^
  11. “Vendor/Recipient: 270 Strategies.” Open Secrets. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/campaign-expenditures/vendor?cycle=2018&vendor=270+Strategies. ^
  12. Burns, Alexander. “Democrats Beat Trump in 2020. Now They’re Asking: What Went Wrong?” New York Times. February 20, 2021. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/us/politics/democrats-house-races-trump.html. ^
  13. Burns, Alexander. “Democrats Beat Trump in 2020. Now They’re Asking: What Went Wrong?” New York Times. February 20, 2021. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/us/politics/democrats-house-races-trump.html. ^
  14. “Partners in Action.” 270 Strategies. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://270strategies.com/our-work/. ^
  15. McMorris-Santoro, Evan. “Obama Campaign Vets: Pay Us $5,000 To Learn – And Work On A Campaign.” Buzzfeed News. July 24, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evanmcsan/270-strategies. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Mitch Stewart
    Founding Partner

Associated Organizations

  1. Arena PAC (Political Party/527)
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270 Strategies


Chicago, IL