I am hearing how the democrats are going to lose seats in Congress. Some, such as E. J. Dionne are concerned about how How Democrats can avoid a midterm rout in 2010. The better question is How to solidify democratic control of congress?
Contrasts are one of the most important elements of a campaign’s message. If you don’t define the difference between you and your opponent, your opponent will and you’re not going to like the outcome of your election. Take a few seconds right now to write down the three most important contrasts between you and your opponent. Then, audit all of your campaign communication (eg. literature, mail, website, speeches) to be sure those contrasts are included and featured.Drawing contrasts includes not only pointing out the negatives on your opponent, but the flip side of that message being the benefits of your own proposals. Many campaigns take the first step of giving the voters a reason to make a change, but fall down on presenting their candidate as the logical choice. Make sure your campaign completes the contrast.
Cross-posted at Future Majority .
Giraffes used to be only about 9 ft tall and looked like antelopes. Through time, only taller and taller giraffes survived since they were the only ones that could reach the food higher up in the trees. The species was able to evolve and survive because they were able to reach beyond the low-hanging food, while other species could not.
In youth organizing there is also low-hanging fruit: college students. Most organizations and campaigns have primarily focused their efforts on college students because they are the easiest to reach. However, if we are going to evolve as a movement we need to reach beyond just organizing college students and start working on those young voters that are harder to reach.
The youth I am talking about are those in rural communities, in high school, those that never went to college, and those that are no longer in college.
The reason that these young voters are often neglected in youth organizing is that it requires extra effort to reach them. An organization can just show up to a college campus and have young people all around them. To reach out to non-college youth you have to do your research and spend time going to the places that they tend to congregate. With finite resources, it's not something many organizations are willing to do.
On my other blog I wrote a post about reaching out to rural youth. I polled a number of my Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn contacts. The results showed that there were places and events that young people rural areas can be found. Going out to do peer-to-peer contact in those places is important, especially since rural youth tend to communicate more through text messaging than the internet.
In 1968 Bobby Kennedy won the Indiana Democratic Primary because he was willing to go to places and talk to voters that are used to being ignored. At a rally in Kentucky, a woman that described herself as a staunch Republican brought a Kennedy sign home because she was "surprised he would stop at a small town like this and give us his consideration."
Our efforts may actually be more transformational when we are talking to people that are used to being ignored and are impressed that a Democratic organization is willing to take the time to find and contact them. It is a fundamental human rule that everybody likes to feel that they are worthwhile. These efforts in rural communities could be very effective in creating life-long Democrats, yet we tend not to engage them.
If the youth movement is going to continue to grow and thrive, it must expand beyond the low-hanging fruit of colleges. While it may seem daunting at first, the benefits will certainly be worth it.
In a recently released study, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., found nearly 11% of people who have reported being polled said they have lied to pollsters about their views on politics and public affairs. "Why they're lying is probably as varied as individuals are varied," says Jerry Lindsley, director of the school's polling institute. "Halfway through a survey, they might all of a sudden get nervous about the kinds of questions they're being asked and start to lie or not be totally straightforward."Polling has become an essential part of politics by which campaigns and consultants develop everything from messaging to overall strategy. It's probably a pretty important thing know whether those plans are based on accurate assumptions. How much does your campaign rely on polling?
Using a podium for speeches could be sending the wrong message.
You have two options when it comes to using a podium for speeches. You can 1) use a podium/lectern or 2) not use a podium/lectern. Using a podium adds a more formal feel to your speech. Not using a podium adds a more informal feel. Use a podium if you want discuss a serious topic or if you’re speaking to very accomplished audience. Don’t use one if you’re presenting yourself as a down to earth, man/woman of the people.It sounds pretty simple, but many candidates who are accopmlished want to look accomplished and official when they would be better served by appearing down to earth. Knowing your audience and the message you intend to get across will only increase your effectiveness as a candidate in communicating with the voters.