In August of 2011, Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced bill H.R. 2977 in the House of Representatives, otherwise known as the Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings Act (COINS Act). The goal of the bill would be to eventually eliminated the dollar bill as we know it, and replace it with dollar coins – all under the guise of saving “taxpayer money” in the long term. In response, kglobal created the Americans for George coalition and launched a campaign promoting the dollar bill and highlighting the economic issues around converting to a dollar coin. We teamed up with Americans for George, and used comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data to help them effectively execute the campaign for the dollar bill.
We began by conducting a national survey consisting of 800 interviews among likely voters via landline and cellphones. Through this survey, we tested likely voters’ attitudes on issues such as the federal debt, approaches to reducing the federal budget deficit, and – of course – the debate over the dollar bill vs. the dollar coin. The result was overwhelmingly in favor of George. We found that opposition to the dollar coin not only brought members of both parties together, but it also united all areas of the country. From 82% of voters in the South, to 71% of voters in the Northeast, to 74% of voters in the West, Americans were clear that they wanted to keep dollar bills in their pockets as opposed to carrying around extra change.
In addition to this nationwide survey, we set up focus groups across the country to gain deeper insight into voters’ opinions on the dollar bill. Overall, the results of the focus groups indicated that public will was firmly behind the dollar bill. It also showed that Americans were pessimistic about the nation’s current economic situation and that they desperately wanted their elected officials to come up with real solutions to real problems. Indeed, in many focus groups, participants felt this debate was simply another example of politicians in Washington wasting time and not focusing on the issues that truly matter to the country.
These survey results were deployed by Americans for George to be used for their website and social media efforts, along with a coordinated paid media campaign that included subway, print, and online advertising, among other media campaigns. These efforts led mentions of Americans for George in nearly every major publication, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and The Washington Times. In short, Americans for George proved to be the authoritative voice of the pro-dollar side of the debate and took the conversation straight to Members of Congress.
H.R. 2977 never made it out of the House Committee on Financial Services, and went on to fail in Congress multiple times – meaning George’s home on the dollar bill is safe.
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