Jahana Hayes

for U.S. Congress

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

endorse Jahana Hayes for Congress

Jahana Hayes is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year who decided to run for Congress in 2018. Jahana ran in an open seat in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, which includes the suburban and rural communities west of Hartford. Traditionally Republican, the 5th District has been trending Democratic since the 2004 election. Having never held office, and being an African American woman in a 73% white/6% African American/15% Hispanic district, she faced a tough primary against Former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, who was backed by the Connecticut Democratic Party in the primary. Our challenge was to help Jahana Hayes breakthrough as a first-time candidate, and showcase her extraordinary story, dynamic personality, and many qualifications to win the primary and general elections while raising money to fund her campaign.

Hayes won the primary with 62% of the vote and the general election with 56%.

A compelling video and targeted digital ads were key to Jahana Hayes breaking through to win the primary against a party-endorsed favorite, and helped her prevail in the general. The goals of our efforts were four-fold:

  1. To make a “viral” launch video: An elusive goal for many in 2018, but we made a compelling video to tell her story and used digital advertising to reach more people.
  2. To raise money by putting the video in front of likely donors with Facebook direct donate ads.
  3. To persuade and motivate Democratic voters to vote for Jahana in the primary, tapping into energy from the viral bio video and showing sporadic voters how and when to vote.
  4. To persuade and motivate Democratic and moderate voters to vote for Jahana in the general election with issue-focused videos to show Jahana’s positions and depth on a variety of issues.

The Results

In four priority areas, we achieved measurable results for now-Congresswoman Hayes:


  1. The video was one of the most viral of 2018, being picked up by NowThis and achieving 121,000 shares and 11 million views on Facebook.
  2. For fundraising, from the July 12th video launch to August 6th, we raised over $46,000 through Facebook donate ads and a total of $179,600 online, vaulting Jahana to a 3 to 1 money advantage over her Democratic Party-endorsed primary opponent.
  3. To win the primary, we created a 30-second cut of the viral video highlighting President Obama’s remarks to reach 200,000 primary voters. With the opponent’s party support, it was important to show validation from the most high-ranking Democrat in the party.
  4. To assure victory in the general, we targeted a tighter universe of voters displaying 1.5 million ad impressions an average of 27 times per person.

The Viral Video


Views on Facebook



Online Fundraising


Total Raised


Money Advantage over Opponent

Ad Performance




Views Per Person

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