Campaign

Using Social Pressure to Accomplish Campaign Goals

Despite the pop-psychology hubbub about individuality, our natural, human desires are to fit in, to learn and abide by social norms. Humans are innately social creatures. Think about tailgating during football season, double dates (or just regular dates), and Facebook. All of these activities point to the undeniable fact that people want to be socially accepted.

In political consulting, we frequently use social pressure, communication designed to compel the recipient to comply with a given social norm in order to avoid the risk of humiliation. Most often, we use the technique in advocacy or issue-based campaigns rather than candidate campaigns. The AAPC even has several categories of Pollie Awards dedicated to practitioners who excel in the use of social pressure. So how do we employ social pressure? (more…)

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Democrats and their Dollars

Last year, national Democrats exhibited a shocking inability to think past the end of their nose. In the December runoff in Louisiana, the Dems and their allies left former-Senator Mary Landrieu (man, that phrase sounds great!) to her own devices against then-Rep. Dr. Bill Cassidy. The Senate map in 2016 favors Democrats (and it’s a presidential year, which always favors the left) and retaining that one seat last year would have made their battle next year a bit easier. But they gave up, which was a strategic blunder, in my professional opinion.

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Campaign Direct Mail: It’s Not All About the Money

Direct mail is essential to any campaign, regardless of size. But candidates shouldn't sacrifice quality to save a few pennies.

Direct mail is essential to any campaign, regardless of size. But candidates shouldn’t sacrifice quality to save a few pennies.

Despite the increasing flow of money into politics, campaigns — especially local campaigns — are looking for every possible avenue to stretch their donors’ contributions to the max. Frugality should always trump lavishness. But when votes are on the line, quality should never be sacrificed on the altar of cheapness. Voters judge candidates, rightly or not, on the quality of material produced by the campaign.

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Accident or Alternative?

Politico reported earlier this afternoon that the Republican National Convention “quickly pulled down a draft copy of its 2012 platform” after “an apparent staff error led to its posting” on the RNC website.

I have to wonder, with all of the press this past week covering the dumb remarks made by Todd Akin (R-MO) and Mitt Romney’s jest “birther” comment, was the posting really an accident?  Or was it the GOP’s way of finally shifting the news back to the Republican message?

If it was the latter, kudos to whomever’s brilliant idea it was.  And if it was truly an accident, I suspect someone will fade quietly into the Tampa night.

Exactly What He Needed: What Ryan Brings to the Romney Ticket

By now, you’ve all heard the news: Romney-Ryan 2012!  The Republican nominee for President (yes, I’ve dispensed with the “presumptive” tag), Mitt Romney, has selected Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as his running mate.  His choice obviously departs from my prediction, but it’s a great choice.

I’m sure everyone knows a little bit about who Paul Ryan is, so I won’t detail his biography here.  But I do want to hit a few high points for you—points I believe will are significant to the election.  Rep. Paul Ryan is an energetic 42-year-old Catholic family man from Wisconsin.  He is the always-controversial Chairman of the House Budget Committee and is about as conservative as they come.  But what do these biographical points have to do with the election?  Let’s review. (more…)

Polish and Tarnish: Why Markwayne Mullin is beating George Faught in OK2

I have a special fondness for Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District.  Not only did I grow up in the district, but most of my family still lives there.  It’s a mostly rural district with only a couple of urban areas of over 30,000 people, covering most of the eastern portion of the state, including my hometown of Tahlequah.  So it’s with a little bit of excitement that I get to write about the Republican runoff currently in progress there. (more…)

Talk, But Let’s be Honest

In an opinion piece out today on the New York Times website, Charles M. Blow discusses race and the role it plays in politics.  Primarily, Blow argued that it is the racial divide in the two major political parties that drives their respective agendas.  I strongly disagree with this premise, but I do agree with a few things Blow said and I want to give him credit for those. (more…)