The Ledge Project
The Challenge
The Approach
The Results
Where We're Headed
The Challenge
Since 2008, Democrats have lost nearly 1,000 state legislative seats across the country.

Republicans have spent heavily and strategically for decades in state legislative races to ensure their party controls which laws are passed that impact people’s lives – from health care to voting rights – and also ensured that they protected their power for the long term by controlling how congressional and state maps are drawn.

Ledge Challenge Map

Compared to the massive investment in state and local races by conservative-backed groups in recent years, Democratic spending in state legislative races, particularly on through digital platforms which can be more effective in targeting local communities, has been basically nonexistent.

ACRONYM sought to fill this critical gap in the progressive landscape by finally providing strategic investments through digital ads to help Democratic candidates win back power in state houses in states that will play a role in redistricting in 2021, and along the way ensured the program built digital capacity and knowledge at the local level to ensure these investments can continue for cycles to come.

The Approach

ACRONYM launched LEDGE, a first-of-its-kind, scalable $10 million digital program laser-focused on building progressive power and flipping dozens of state legislative seats across the country. We partnered with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to target dozens of races across six states, all with an eye towards flipping chambers in the 2018 cycle and in the 2020 cycle so we could have more Democratic-controlled state chambers that would impact the redrawing of America’s congressional maps in 2021.

Ledge Map


We ran the LEDGE program across dozens of districts in 6 states. The vast majority of candidates we supported were first-time candidates and the majority of them were women.

Kayser Enneking
Alessandra Biaggi

The Program
We used innovative, nimble strategies to run the most cost-effective campaign we could to raise the name ID the candidates we supported within our target districts. Our research showed that many voters don’t vote for downballot races because they are less informed about who is running, so we used a layered approach to ensure voters in the districts received ads and local news content featuring the names of the Democratic candidates running for state legislature and the issues they were fighting for.


Throughout our program we constantly ran A/B tests to optimize delivery strategy, sequence and frequency of the advertisements voters received in their feeds. We also optimized the type of content voters were receiving, and interspersed boosted news content with our own digital advertisements.


The LEDGE program was the first-of-its-kind program that was a digital ad campaign that was scaled across 80 districts nationwide. We built custom tools to enable us to create templates for ad distribution across multiple digital platforms, while simultaneously enabling us to make the ad content and share copy localized. We also worked with organizations on the ground to ensure we had the most up-to-date information on local issues, had feedback from the communities our ads were running in, and trained teams within those local organizations to build their own digital capacity in-house.

Our Partners
The Results

In 2018, Democrats made critical gains at the state level. Of the dozens of state legislative candidates we supported within LEDGE, over 60% won their races. We flipped the Minnesota State House and broke Republican supermajorities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and made critical headway in additional states that we will continue to build on during the 2020 cycle in advance of redistricting the following year.

Won 45 Seats
Flipped the Minnesota House
Broke 3 Republican Supermajorities

Most importantly, our findings throughout the program and post-election showed, ACRONYM was by far the highest (and in many cases the only) spender on digital platforms in most – if not all – of the state legislative races we played in. Through post-election testing and analysis, early data show that digital can make a key difference in these smaller races where less attention and investment are focused, While we will continue to analyze data that we currently have and data yet to be released, we believe the LEDGE program positively contributed to helping dozens of progressive candidates win their races in states critical for building our leadership bench and impacting redistricting in the coming years.

Where We're Headed

In 2018, Democrats made critical gains at the state level. Of the dozens of state legislative candidates we supported within LEDGE, over 60% won their races. We flipped the Minnesota State House and broke Republican supermajorities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and made critical headway in additional states that we will continue to build on during the 2020 cycle in advance of redistricting the following year.

The lessons learned and infrastructure built by LEDGE will help Democrats run more effective state legislative campaigns in cycles to come — and enable progressives to better understand how to run the most effective digital programs across a wide range of communities and districts.

ACRONYM will continue to run the LEDGE program in 2019 and 2020 so we can build off of our 2018 progress and continue to invest in power and infrastructure-building in communities across the country, and the lessons and tools we developed this past cycle will be able to inform our programs and programs across the progressive landscape.

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