Grassroots:3 - Looking at the
concept of targeting
In the previous article on this subject (See: Grassroots:1
- How early should I
) we mentioned that as a non
Republican/Democrat candidate your campaign or your candidate will
face additional ballot access obstacles. In the second article (See: Grassroots:2
- Ballot Access
defined and first step on developing campaign plan) these were
explained and initial steps of information required to incorporate a
solution into your campaign plan were presented.
But before beginning the campaign plan, a couple other
concepts need to be understood. One is targeting and once again we
offer an excerpt from Joe Garecht's http://www.localvictory.com/ (below) as background material.
Importance of Targeting for independents
A candidate running for public office in a partisan election
as a Republican or Democrat starts out with a base vote. Most
election districts are skewed in most elections by 10% or less of
the average vote. So in most districts with equal candidates running
80% of the time the difference is no worse than 60 - 40% of the
average vote. So even the underdog in such elections have a base
vote of somewhere around 40%.
When running as an independent candidate, with opposition from
both major parties you probably start with at most 2-3% of the
Now at this point many will just throw up their hands and say
- its impossible - and quit. But it is not impossible. These numbers
are the result of many factors and some can not only be overcome,
but can be turned into advantages for your campaign.
Your ability to do so will depend much on recognizing that you
will not be getting the majority of your votes from the dedicated
Republicans and Democrats and those of strong Republican and
Democratic persuasion. Most campaign tools and strategies currently
in use target these voters heavily and it is easy to get caught up
in this mindset.
The author probably lost his first election for this very
reason. I executed my campaign plan down to the number of newspaper
and radio ads to the tee - but it was the wrong campaign plan. I
spent a lot of time, effort and precious funds soliciting the votes
of citizens who had made up their minds before the campaign even
In Mr. Garecht's article he states:
Campaigns operate with limited resources � limited amounts
of time, money and manpower. These resources must be used wisely if
the campaign is to be successful. The way to make sure that these
resources are used the best way they can be is to target � pick
which voters you need to concentrate on delivering your message to
and use your resources to do it.
As you will see in the following articles, this is even more
important for independent candidates. By building this concept into
your campaign plan from the very beginning you will not only have
better results on election day, but you will be able to begin
establishing a base vote higher than the typical 2-3% mentioned
In the next article we will present some background
information needed for you to begin identifying your higher
potential target groups and then follow up with how to build this
into your campaign plan.
An Action for the concerned citizen
Now for an action item for citizens who would like to see
their choices improved in future elections. If people reading this
article are honest with themselves this would include all but the
most partisan citizens. Having
is very American and should be a goal of all citizens who are not
beholden to special interests. Citizens that care about good
government need to be more proactive, not just waiting until the day
before an election to decide and then complaining that the limited
choice is less than desirable. If you are such a citizen and know
someone who would be a good candidate, forward these articles to them.
There are enough good citizens in our country to restore good
government, but many just feel like they do not have a chance.
Encourage them, unless you are totally satisfied with today's
government. Your encouragement may be all the additional support
that your potential candidate was waiting for.
One thing you can take to the bank,
doing nothing - does not change much!
The following is the subject from Local Victory Newsletter
being discussed. We recommend all potential candidates subscribe to
this free newsletter.
The Two Most Frequently Asked Questions About Grassroots
by Joe Garecht
This article appeared in the May 15, 2002 issue of the Local Victory Newsletter
Local Victory receives over 300 e-mails
per month asking questions on winning local elections. The
majority of these questions deal with grassroots politics �
organizing a district, conducting canvasses, etc.
this article, we take a look at the second most frequently
asked question we receive:
Shouldn�t I just stand outside grocery stores and factory
gates shaking hands and seeking people to vote for me?
If there�s one concept that is overlooked
by most campaigns, it is targeting. Campaigns operate with
limited resources � limited amounts of time, money and
manpower. These resources must be used wisely if the campaign
is to be successful. The way to make sure that these
resources are used the best way they can be is to target �
pick which voters you need to concentrate on delivering your
message to and use your resources to do it.
Standing outside stores and factories
shaking hands is a risky proposition � not only do you not
know if the people you meet there are registered to vote or if
they even live in the district, but if they are mostly
supporters of your opponent, campaigning there may wake
sleeping dogs and propel your opponent�s campaign to action in
Simply put, don�t conduct these
activities unless they are targeted and targeted well. Only
campaign at malls, factories and stores when you know that
most of the people there are from the district and open to
voting for your candidate. Most times, you won�t be able to
be sure of this, and thus shouldn�t campaign in these places
unless you have so many volunteers that it is either let them
campaign at the mall or send them home because you have no
work left for them.
If you have some interest in
for the people of Georgia, the following articles
may be of interest:
Part 1 Many ask, "Why a Southern Party �?"
Part 2 The Southern Party: Strengths and Weaknesses
Part 3 The
Southern Party: A Plan for 2006 Election Cycle
Part 4 The Southern Party: We need your help