Friday, October 31, 2014

What should I do in the last weekend?

Candidates always ask me how to spend the last weekend before the election most productively. These tips assume you have done all the right things up to now, mail, website, media, social media, walk, walk walk. Now, go out and give your campaign a boost this last weekend.

1. Keep walking precincts and calling voters. Update your list so you are only going to those homes and phones where unmarked ballots still reside. Can't afford a new walk list? Just go to poll voters. You know they haven't cast their ballot yet, and maybe seeing your smiling face on their doorstep will get them to cast it for you.

2. Robo call. Just one. Very short. Your name, your office. One point. Your telephone number. Thanks.

3. Make sure your GOTV lists are prepared and you have volunteers to hit the polls on Election Day. This means you have either printed out or highlighted on your walk sheets those voters who said they would vote for you. Now you have to make sure they get to the polls and cast that ballot.

4. Last minute email blasts. Ask for help, volunteers, money (if you don't have debts, you haven't been running hard enough; if you have money left over, your in trouble deep!), and invite everyone to watch the returns with you on Tuesday night.

5. Update the website with some excitement. We're on a roll. Down to the wire. Pics of you and your volunteers (and their dogs) handing out literature.

6. Stop by every single public event you can and get rid of every last piece of literature you have.

7.  OK. When those things are done, get your ten friends together and start waving signs. No, this will not make anyone who hasn't thought about the race yet decide to vote for you, but someone on the fence might appreciate the show of enthusiasm.

8. Get some rest. Monday you will be calling undecided poll voters as well as making reminder calls to those poll voters on your list who you identified as voting for you. Tuesday you will going non-stop, as you make sure all your voters get to the polls, if it means dragging them from their dinners at 7 PM, pleading and moaning that you need their vote. Now.

9. Read your horoscope. Interpret liberally.

10. Never. Stop. Campaigning.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Don't Forget to Vote! Drop that Absentee Ballot off or it won't count

I know you know this, but that absentee ballot will do you no good sitting on the coffee table at 8 PM on election day.  Yes, you missed the deadline to mail it in. But, you may still drop it off at your Registrar of Voters office anytime between now and 8 PM on election Day or at any polling place. Who knows you may be the one vote that makes a difference in a key race, when all those last minute ballots are counted, usually about two weeks out.

As a report in Capital Alert noted: "More than one-half of California’s 17.6 million registered voters have requested vote-by-mail ballots for Tuesday’s election. The question now is: Will they use them?"

The answer, my friends, is up to you. Mark your ballot and then take the time to get it in.

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One week before Election Day. Do you know where YOUR voters are?

It's one week before the big day, and you don't know who is voting for you and you is voting for the other guy? Why not? Because you neglected to do some basic campaign steps back in September.

Mistakes candidates make that leave them in limbo in November:

1. Don't go door to door. If you don't go door, to miss key opportunities to meet actual voters, and, more important, to have them meet you (or your surrogate) and hear your message from a flesh and blood human being. What's more, you don't get a sense if your message is working or not.

2. Don't target and go to more doors than you need to. You've heard me talk about targeting frequent voters ad nauseum. when you're walking precincts, trudging up hill and down dale, you'll soon know why. Some people never vote and no matter how much persuasion you give them, they never will. You're wasting valuable time going to those households, missing the key voters who do vote, and will be likely to vote for you if they hear your message, and that's time you'll never make up.

3. You don't keep good records of who you waked to and what they said. Whoops, you forgot to note the voters' responses on your walk lists. Your volunteers gave you back a stack of completed lists with nothing but check marks on them. This won't happen if you either download the right app and keep your records electronically, or do it the old-fashioned way (I still do), and check the boxes on your walk sheets, Yes, No, undecided, not home.

4. Say, "Glad that's over with" and drop your walk sheets into the receycle bin after the last door has been knocked. Wait. Now you go back and call all your Yes voters and remind them, in the nicest way possible to go to the polls Tuesday. Then, on Tuesday, you and your volunteers physically get down to the polls and check who's voted on your lists. Call the ones who haven't and remind them, gently, but urgently, that now is the time. Of course this applies only to poll voters, and any abseentte voters who may have neglected to mail their ballots in. They can drop them off at any polling station until closing time.

Once all this is done (and your mail went out on time, your website got updated frequently, your ads were all printed, your TV spots delivered), then, and only then, can you relax at your victory party, secure in the knowledge, win or lose, you have run the very best campaign you could possible have, and all your votes are accounted for.

Good luck!