How to Win an Election with Optimal Voter Contact
YOU’RE MORE THAN PARTY
In today’s political climate it’s not enough to have your name alongside a national party and expect that to get you a win in an elected office, especially in a local position. We have a general idea of what a candidate stands for when they proclaim allegiance to a political party, but at a community/ local level it really doesn’t say how an elected official can effect a person’s life in a positive way.
PRESENT YOURSELF AS A PROBLEM SOLVER
A successful campaign usually zeros in on a problem you (the candidate) can solve. Find out what matters to voters in your community. It could be anything from traffic flow to zoning if you’re running for City Council or library book choices to teacher pay if you’re running for School Board. Find the top 3 issues related to your elected office and offer solutions.
In 2008 Barak Obama used “Change We Can Believe In” to help carry him to the highest office in the land, as did Donald Trump in 2016 with “Make America Great Again”. Find a clear, concise way to summarize your message and repeat it over and over in your community. The repetition of a short, positive slogan keeps your name in people’s head.
CLARIFY YOUR VIEWS
Tell voters how your election can enhance their lives in a positive way, and repeat that message in various ways through print and social media. Your direct messaging to the voters, such as post cards, palm cards, door hangers and flyers, should expand on your slogan. An example could be the slogan “Children First” if you’re running for school board followed with more expansive bullet points reflecting your views.
Better Education in our Public Schools – Increase teacher pay to recruit and keep good
Diversity In Our Curriculum – Reading materials and course study should reflect our diverse
LGBT is Not curriculum – Sex education belongs in the home
If you’re running for a more general office like mayor or state representative, your “Children First” slogan would include multiple ways to improve the health, safety and livelihood of children in the community.
EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE
Once you’ve developed your messaging, go to as many public events as possible and hand out palm cards, also known as push cards. The push card will usually include a picture of you, your name and what you’re running for, your slogan and message. A short bio is usually submitted on the back side of the palm card, as well as any significant contact information.
Your name and face is meant to represent “the solution”, so it’s important to get your name and face in front of as many people as possible. Go door to door with palm cards and door hangers. Give them a push card when you introduce yourself or leave a door hanger if no one answers. Display yard signs at as many cross roads in your community as possible and mail out multiple post cards to remind people to vote as the election date gets close.
Your objective is to get people to feel like they know you personally by election day.
Examples of Political Palm Cards and Post Cards:
Voter Contact Q&A:
What are Palm cards / Push cards?
Hand- out messaging materials are called palm cards, named as such because they’re delivered from hand to hand or palm to palm. They are 4″x9″ post card quality print materials.
What do you put on a Political Palm card?
A Palm card usually includes the name and picture of the candidate, their logo, the office they’re running for and they’re message on the front side of the 4×9 card. The message should include problem/solution scenarios.
The back of the 4×9 card is usually an “About the Candidate”, including bio’s, community involvement, and basic family information. (People running for Re-election usually use this side to tout their accomplishments while in office.) Contact information, social media address and advertising disclosure “Paid for by…” are standard on the back side of a political palm card.