2020 Election Day Roadmap with Cogent Strategies

On September 25, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council, in partnership with Cogent Strategies, held a ‘2020 Election Day Roadmap’ to discuss the current state of the 2020 Presidential, Senatorial, and House races, which included deep-dives into campaign strategy and finances.

Members of the Cogent Strategies team collectively have nearly 50 years of experience on Capitol Hill and in past administrations serving as policy analysts, political advisors and communications strategists for some of the most senior members of Congress as well as senior executive branch officials. Cogent Strategies presented an insightful and unique roadmap to the Presidential, Senate, and House 2020 races that you won’t read about in the New York Times or the various political news outlets in Washington.

The Cogent Strategies team listed a few factors to watch for in the Trump vs. Biden showdown including how demographic trends within suburban women and the Latino vote provide interesting data points as well as mail-in voting and the impact of turnout and registration among battleground state college students who are forced to attend virtual school or take gap years.

Cogent Founder and CEO, Kimberley Fritts further detailed how money is affecting the Presidential race saying “Anyone who has worked in campaigns knows that cash is king.  Pay close attention to where the money is being spent and Biden’s burn rate of 61% vs Trump’s 99%.  Biden has also added $102 million in advertising during the month of September vs. Trump’s $3.1 million.”

Cogent’s principal liaison to congressional Republican leadership and the White House, Randall Gerard, evaluated the potential for a “Red Mirage” for briefing participants.  He detailed the famous Blue Wall implications and what issues voters care about in the all-important Sun Belt states that will prove critical to a Presidential victory.

In addition to Cogent’s team of veteran political strategists, Meridian was delighted to welcome Cogent alum, Kevin McLaughlin, Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who enthusiastically discussed the Republicans’ path forward in retaining the Senate majority. Long-time Democratic strategist, Andrew Kauders, countered with an equally compelling argument on how we should all prepare to refer to Sen. Chuck Schumer as the Majority Leader in 2021 as Democrats are poised to win seats in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona.

A look into the 2020 House races was also presented by former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under Secretary Hillary Clinton, The Honorable David Adams, who spent nearly three decades on the Hill working on foreign policy issues and seasoned political operative Shellie Purvis, who worked on several high-profile Republican campaigns including the re-election of President George W. Bush, former Governor Jeb Bush’s bid for president, and two gubernatorial campaigns for former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. While Ms. Purvis conceded the House is unlikely to flip back to Republican control, there are a handful of seats the GOP is targeting to chip away at the Democratic majority and predicted the House will be more conservative and have more Republican women in the 117th Congress.  Meanwhile, Hon. Adams discussed historical mid-term election results and what they mean in 2020, how having a money advantage over the Republicans translates into deploying resources strategically, and why the House Democratic caucus will or will not change with a progressive insurgence.

Project summary

2020 Election Day Roadmap with Cogent Strategies
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: United States
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector