Crossroads has spent months conducting polls, focus groups and other research to determine the best ways to undercut Mrs. Clinton. The group is hoping to craft specific attacks that resonate with individual segments of the electorate, rather than lob the sort of broad-brush attacks that didn’t work against Mr. Obama in 2012.
It is a lesson Crossroads operatives learned in the 2014 midterms. In Alaska, polling and focus groups showed ads linking former Democratic Sen. Mark Begich to Mr. Obama weren’t that effective. Instead, the Crossroads team discovered Anchorage residents didn’t have a favorable view of Mr. Begich’s tenure as mayor. They ran three separate ads tapping into those concerns. The first two didn’t move the needle, causing Mr. Law to question the strategy. The third struck a nerve, forcing the Democrat to respond to the attacks. Mr. Begich never recovered.
“We were building stories, not simply throwing punches,” Mr. Law said of the group’s ads in 2014. “That’s a key part of connecting with voters, especially in a highly cluttered environment.”