“Winning the West” campaign launches television and social media ad campaign

Sep 7, 2016



Center for Western Priorities highlights the importance of parks, public lands, outdoor access to voters in Mountain West states

DENVER—With the beginning of the fall election season the Center for Western Priorities released two new ads in its Winning the West campaign reminding elected officials, candidates, and opinion leaders that Western voters across the political spectrum “vote for the outdoors.”

The Winning the West campaign ads are part of a six-figure ad buy that includes cable television in Washington, DC, along with digital ads in Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Winning the West ads feature real Western voters, sharing their authentic passion for the outdoors.

“How do you win the West?” asks Jacquie, a mountain biker, in one of the ads. She answers, “With balance in how you manage our land and resources. With a respect for the land and a commitment to keep it open to the public and protect it for the next generation. You don’t threaten to sell the public’s land and expect to finish first.”

Winning the West: Jacquie

Winning the West: Michael

In February, the Center for Western Priorities launched the 2016 Winning the West campaign with the release of the Colorado swing voter poll and focus groups. Polls were also conducted in Nevada and Montana earlier this year. The three polls show that Western voters, regardless of political party, identify strongly with a connection to the outdoors and value access to public lands for recreation including hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping.

Public opinion research conducted by Purple Strategies shows that 93% of Colorado voters, 91% of Nevada voters, and 91% of Montana voters believe that public lands, like national forests and national monuments, are an essential part of their state’s economy. Voters want land managers to strike a balance between conservation, recreation, and responsible energy development. Additionally, voters are much less likely to support candidates who favor selling public lands for private development.

“Any candidate seeking voter support in the West should be ready to answer how they will work to improve public access for outdoor recreation, how they will preserve and enhance funding for land conservation and how they will work to protect public lands for future generations. Whether you’re running to serve as a county commissioner, a member of Congress, or the U.S. president, Western voters want to know where you stand on protecting our American public lands,” said Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala.

In order for local, state, or federal candidates to connect with voters in Western swing states, they will need to balance energy and recreation issues on public lands. Committing to keeping public lands in the hands of the public will help a candidate swing undecided voters.