Practical guide and strategies to win an election.

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Practical guide and strategies to win an election.

It’s essential that every campaign have a theory of how to win the election. This has to be a given at the outset of any campaign. It’s astonishing how many candidates in local elections that I have observed, start their campaigns with no concrete idea of how they can win. Too often candidates file to run for local offices and then “see what happens”.

Every campaign should start with the question, “How can I win?”. Unfortunately, many times the decision is made on the basis of anecdotal evidence or by simply assuming that because one political party is dominant victory is assured. What’s needed of course is an analysis of past election results and the demographics of the electorate. That’s just a starting point.

The Points:

1. Vote Goal

The vote goal may seem basic, but the vote count is what will help you win a political election. Calculating how many votes you need to win your election is where everyone should start. If you are in a multi-candidate race you will need to take that into consideration and know that your goal may be less than 50% of the votes cast.

2. Connect With Voters by Telling YOUR Story

Politics has always been personality first, policy second. We need candidates who aren’t afraid to step up and share who they are with the voters. You can try blending your political messaging into your political campaign strategy whilst staying true to your own personality. Appeal to your electorate and their issues through community outreach, and see how this fits into your campaign strategy, if at all.

Many voters won’t be interested in turning out to cote unless they are invested in the character of a candidate. It’s shallow, it’s reality. If we can’t feel connected with our representative, we won’t feel obligated to vote for them. The fusion of political messaging and personality is pivotal when it comes to your get out the vote strategy and making the electorate believe in you as a candidate.

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3.Strategic Campaign Team Hires

According to  candidates that we spoken to, they all wished they would have hired a Political Field director sooner because they knew that serious investment in a field campaign would win more votes compared to anything else. Person to person contact and a solid canvassing strategy are deemed the most impactful things you can do dying a campaign.

So think strategic, think field operatives.

4. Manage Your Budget

As part of good campaign organization, we always like to explore where money will be spent, it helps when trying to factor in where your campaign funding will be coming from and where it will be going. Simple cash flow will help you begin this process.

Things like application fees need to be considered, promotional materials, fuel costs, office rent, staff wages, expenses, catering costs for events, a clothes bursary, advertising, and even purchasing voter lists. All of these may be necessary costs for your campaign.

Having such high spend requires you to be creative with how you may bring in different streams of income. Perhaps holding local fundraisers is an option, are there grants available, have you savings stashed away and have you enabled your website to collect online donations? Many of these are standard ways of increasing your campaign budget. Make sure to consider the longest possible timeline when doing up your financial forecast as this will save you stress in the long run.

5. Have a Political Social Media Strategy

Social media and politics work together very well for the purpose of disseminating political messaging to voters. It has gone so far as to create a whole new slate of roles in political organizations. We now see hundreds of eager, astute and creative individuals sitting at desks across the globe tweeting, analyzing data and creating videos, all with audience-specific content in mind.

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political social media campaigns have a huge benefit to raising awareness of your cadency, policies, and reaching a wider audience within your area.

6. Get Out and Start Being Seen

Efficiency and visibility are paramount when it comes to any political campaign. For some politicians, door-to-door canvassing is a huge aspect of their campaign and helps them win a political election. Conversation with your constituents is essential because it opens up a platform for community engagement, debate and feedback, which in essence, is what politics encapsulates.

We preach about door knocking and being front facing because there’s no substitution for conversation.

7. Use Insights Better

Lately campaigning and election cycles have been dubbed “data-centric”, and if you really want to understand your voters, then, yes, data is needed.
Experienced campaigners say the following data can help you succeed in campaigning:

Party Supporters – Asking a person if they are a party supporter is crucial information and one answer that most people have no problem sharing with you.

Party Allegiance – Assessing how strong or weak this party allegiance is should be your next question. You can do this by asking something as simple as rate on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being totally loyal to the party and 5 being not very loyal.

Likelihood To Vote – Knowing someone’s voting history shows a lot about what they think of the democratic system. Using your vote is extremely important and the more you are aware of that, the more you value your vote.

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Volunteer likelihood? – You may want to make note of people who are supporting you, but aren’t quite volunteering on your campaign just yet. This data is important if you need to increase your canvassers or event organizers, you can pull from this pool of people.

8. Continue to Learn

The results are in, and they’re not what you planned for. No one plans for a loss, not really. You’ve spent months stumping, turf-cutting,door knocking, fundraising, and last minute GOTV operations — and by comparison, the post-election silence can be tough to stomach but there is hope.

You now have a serious foundation for your next campaign, you may also have learned something about yourself which will help you have a stronger mandate going forward. The good thing about politics and organizing is that there will always be a cause worth fighting for.

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