So You’re Ready to Run For Office- Things to Consider

Running for political office is a large step, and not something to be taken lightly. There are many things to consider when you are deciding to run for office, such as family, work, and financial commitments. This blog, however, will only deal with three. Those three are (1) what do you need to win, (2) who is your audience, and (3) do you have a campaign staff?

What Do You Need to Win?

One of the very first things you need to consider when running for political office is what you need to do to ultimately make your campaign a success. If you are in the surfacing and primary/convention stage of the campaign do you know what portion of the delegation you need to win? Or, if it is during the general elections stage, what portion of your audience do you need to win? It may not always be 51%, and if you are a third party candidate, you could win with as little as 34% of the vote in a three-way-race.

If you are a third party candidate though history has shown us that winning might actually be a long-shot. However, it is also important to consider what positives your campaign can accomplish, even if you do not end up winning the race. Considering secondary, or minimal, goals can make it to where, even if you lose the election, your campaign is still a success. For example, in the 2018 election, Larry Sharpe ran an exceptionally organized campaign for Governor of New York. Even though Larry Sharpe received less than 2% of the total vote, not only was he able to out raise his Republican opponent, he was also able to successfully achieve ballot access for the state of New York. So, even though in the end he lost the race, he was still able to make a difference. What difference can your campaign make?

Who is Your Audience?

Another important thing to consider when running for office is the question regarding who your audience. Are you trying to reach delegates within your party for nomination? Or, are you trying to reach the general public. For example, if you are a Libertarian candidate and you’re seeking the nomination, you should make sure your prioritize a Libertarian audience. However, if you are running in the general election you are going to need to find messaging that not only can reach your Libertarian audience, but a wider audience as well. If you do not have an audience in mind when creating your political strategy your campaign will more than likely fail to reach any audience.

For example, in the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump knew that he probably would not win the popular vote. Hillary was going for the big cities, which is quite possibly one of the things that completely derailed her campaign. Where Hillary focused on the most populated areas around the country, Donald Trump focused on the states that had been “forgotten”. As a result, he was able to win these states, and their associated electoral votes. Understanding his audience is what won him the race.

If you think you have a pretty good idea of who your audience is (after all, you are a member of the community in which you are running), do you know what you need to do to reach this audience? Maybe you are running in a state wide race and you cannot make it to all 254 counties in the state of Texas. But, given that it is a popular vote, if you could just make it to a few perhaps you should consider visiting the larger counties and making enough (positive) noise that you are noticed by the press. In 2018 Mark Ash was able to maintain ballot access for the Libertarian Party on a state-wide ticket campaigning mainly in Harris County.

Do You Have an Organized Staff?

Do you have an organized campaign staff? Do you already have an idea of who your volunteers are? Do you know what type of funding your campaign will have? Will you be able to hire a staff? Or, will you need an entirely volunteer-run campaign? These are important questions to consider when asking the question “should I run?”.

Hiring a campaign staff is beneficial to your campaign in multiple ways. Working your campaign alone is a mistake. Doing this will leave you very little time for actually campaigning. However, having the right team can leave more time for you to actually campaign, and get out there to reach the voters. Having a campaign team consists of multiple people working to help your campaign succeed, offering more hands on deck to help your campaign achieve its goals. Campaign teams also bring legitimacy to your campaign, and the many viewpoints within a team could help your campaign team better understand how to reach a wider audience.

A thing to consider when building your campaign team is creating the roles people will fill, and their duties, bringing organization to the campaign structures. When members of the team do no understand their roles, team productivity will decrease, and altercations emerge.

And, finally, do you know where you will find qualified people to fill these roles? If you need volunteers, do you know where to seek them out? Or, if you need paid staff, what are you looking for in a campaign team?

 

 

 

 

Why LoneStar Campaigns

If you need help formulating your campaign goals, the consultants at LoneStar Campaigns are here and ready to help. Whether you need to determine what percentage of the audience you need to win, or what other positive outcomes your campaign can achieve, the consultants at LoneStar Campaigns can work with you to help determine what it would take to make your campaign a success.

The experienced campaign consultants at LoneStar Campaigns can also help you analyze and reach your target audience. LoneStar Campaigns can provide information regarding who your audience is, and who you need to reach them. We can also help you create a communication strategy to reach those particular audiences. Everything is catered to your campaign and your needs.

LoneStar Campaigns can also help you with your staffing needs. Whether it is helping you organize your campaign, finding volunteers and/or staff, or even managing your campaign, we are here to help you create the perfect campaign team.

For further information, or to ask any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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