One of my favorite political campaign tips is, that campaign fundamentals can be the difference between winning and losing. No matter what level of the race you are running, campaign fundamentals are core to winning. Good political campaign advice can help give a campaign a good start. If you need a campaign team you can always reach out and talk with us about consulting on your campaign.
Here are 9 essential political campaign tips to get your campaign moving in the right direction with a couple of essential bonus tips at the end:
Political Campaign Tips
Don’t run unless you have a chance to win. There is a political campaign legend that if you run enough times, you will build name recognition and get elected. In the majority of races, this is not an accurate presumption. It is the reverse that is true: the more times you run, the less likely you are to win. Most folks who run the second or third time do not win.
Know how many votes you need to win. Every year I see candidates who chose the wrong race to run in. Vote goals don’t need to be that complicated, but any political campaign worth its salt needs a vote goal. Often, the biggest mistake people make is not calculating a vote goal at all. The simple act of creating a vote goal can save you a lot of time campaigning for a race you might not have had a shot at.
Create a contrast. Politics is a comparative game. Even in political campaigns where you are running against multiple candidates you still need to create a contrast. You need to create a reason for voters to choose you.
Run for the right reasons. Don’t run to help your insurance business, or because you feel wronged by your opponent. Run because you have skills that can help your community achieve incredible things.
Don’t be afraid of asking. Every year I have a candidate who tells me that they are sick of calling people for money or asking folks to knock on doors. The fact is if you are a candidate in a political campaign, that is what you will spend the majority of your time doing—asking for things.
Budget for a winning political campaign
How much will the campaign cost? Work with your team to get a real idea of what a winning campaign will cost. Don’t just budget for any campaign; make sure you plan to have the money you need to win your campaign. That means looking at the costs of similar campaigns, but also assessing the potential competition and the cost of a winning strategy.
Listen more than you talk. It is not about the candidate; it is about the voter. This is an essential campaign tip and a hard thing for candidates and political campaign managers to realize. We get so focused on the political campaign that we think the election is about the campaign itself. But that is not the case. Political campaigns are a means to get our message out, they are not the message itself.
It’s about the voter. Political Campaigns should be about delivering results for the community. The candidate is a vehicle for that, but a lot of times campaigns can get lost in the weeds and focus on personal details about a candidate that is not relevant.
A written plan is key. Good campaign planning is your road map for victory. A campaign plan is a living, breathing document. It is not something that lives in a drawer; it is something that you are constantly working on.
Bonus campaign tips:
Don’t ignore the grassroots: even the most sophisticated campaign can benefit from a grassroots connection with voters if you don’t have a foundation of real relationships with voters no amount of direct mail or television ads will save you.
Embrace diversity: If we want to take back statehouses across the country we need to engage all populations in the legislative process. We need to make sure everyone knows that legislative and local races matter. That means employing folks from all walks of life. make your campaign look like the diversity of America and you will gain the ability to reach folks you have never engaged with.