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Former Senator Alan Simpson once said that most campaigns for office start with a couple of friends, sitting around a table drinking beers. While this may be the way most campaigns start, they shouldn't stay that way for long. Too often, local candidates think that the best way to run a campaign is to get some friends involved and the campaign will fall into place on its own. While some of these types of campaigns win, most lose. In order to succeed, every campaign, even the most local, most take a business like approach to winning elections.
First, the obvious: running a successful campaign is expensive. The legitimacy of a candidate is directly proportional to the size of his coffers. If you are the candidate, out of political necessity, fundraising is and should be your priority at the beginning, middle, and end of your campaign. And at every stage in between.
However, as most of us learn from our parents at a very young age, asking for money is not as easy as it sounds. When designing a fundraising strategy, a candidate must consider 1) who to ask, 2) who should be asking, and 3
“Who has the latest version of my High-Dollar Donors spreadsheet?” Does that phrase sound familiar?
Gone are the days where a campaign was run off an ever-expanding collection of spreadsheets and business card catalogues.
Incumbents always have held an advantage in elections, but that advantage has now become practically insurmountable. Over 90 percent of incumbent Congressional candidates are re-elected every two years. Percentages among incumbents farther down on the ballot sometimes are even higher, as often nobody even bothers to run against incumbent State Senators, State Representatives, and City Councilmen.
It would be good for everyone, however--even supporters of these incumbents--if competitive elections were restored. Because competitive elections make all candidates, even the winners, more
Technology is changing the way we work, shop, bank, exercise and most other areas of life.; Why would we expect political campaigns to be immune?
It’s been 30 years since Robert Redford played the role of Bill McKay in “The Candidate,” which accurately represented what was then a whole new political form:
Polling for message+Poll-Driven TV spots+saturation TV buys+clever press manipulation. That’s the way statewide campaigns and many congressional and municipal races have been run ever since.
But now we are seeing a new formula at work