dium tax backers identify their strongest argument, the economic impact of the stadiums on the community, and the voters who were initially least responsive to that argument, women. Moreover, polls and focus groups helped to identify the individual best positioned to make this argument, Mayor Roxanne Qualls. When the campaign shifted its advertising to make use of Qualls to voice the economic argument, polls illustrated that this strategy change was working. When an unexpected event impacted dramatically on the campaign, Marge Schott's ill-timed comments that gave new life to opposition charges that the taxes were little more than a public gift to a big business, polls indicated the effect of that event, and suggested a possible resolution, that the public wanted to see the team make a commitment to Cincinnati, as well as Cincinnati make a commitment to the team. Those same polls helped motivate Bengals owner Mike Brown to do just that in the form of a $25 million pledge toward the stadiums. When ads featuring that pledge were combined with those featuring Mayor Qualls, polls illustrated that the new strategy was working. In sum, at every critical step of the way, polls were involved in this campaign.
As this case study has indicated, polling is essential in political campaigns. Throughout the remainder of this book we will examine the communication practices of a wide variety of political consultants: speech and debate coaches; narrowcast media consultants who use demographic data to direct phone banks and direct mail; consultants who specialize in using newspapers and radio; and of course, consultants who focus their efforts on harnessing television on behalf of their political clients. In well-run campaigns, to no small degree, the efforts of virtually all of these consultants are affected by polling.