Someone who worked on a Republican campaign in Houston writes an excellent post mortem on the election.
I post it because he/she makes some salient points about campaigning. We must stop using the same failed methods, such as having people make phone calls for a candidate that annoy and do not persuade. First, who answers a call that’s marked scam or a number that is not recognizable? If you do, do you stay on the line to hear the spiel? No and no.
What about digital communications? This person has some good observations that ought to be applied in our local Shelby GOP. They seem hopelessly lost in old, traditional methods of campaigning that aren’t effective anymore, then wonder why we lose elections.
I have been waiting to share some thoughts about Tuesday’s election. Overall, and providing these last minute fraudulent attempts to steal elections do not prevail, I think we had a good result. The Republican house we had did not deliver for POTUS, except on tax cuts. And as noted by many, this election largely purged most RINOs from the House and Senate, thankfully.
There are some big medium-long term issues with policy implications that need to be tackled, such as health care, judicial reform, deficit reduction/national debt, immigration law, but with the degree of division in our country today, I don’t foresee a workable way to address these legislatively at present.. If the Dems continue spinning themselves into furies, they will become more irrelevant and hopefully help Independents/Moderates better understand the stakes as well as the unhinged nature of the Left (not to mention the BAD ideas they are espousing).
I spent a lot of time from September onwards working for the reelection of our Congressman here in Houston. We lost, which I did not expect and by more its. than my worst-case scenario. Why? Unforced errors (not good enough prep to counter the untrue assertions made about health care for ex.); and our Rep, while a fine person and a good hard-working (and honest) Congressman, never had real charisma. The outside $$ spent on ads was out of sight and the Dem that won aped the Democrat party talking points about both healthcare and other topics, while lying about her bona fides as a long term very left wing liberal. This is a woman that volunteered for Planned Parenthood as a teenager, y’all. That reflects serious leftist viewpoints.
The way that retail politics is pursued needs serious revamping. Telephone calls in this day and age are largely worthless, and usually annoy more than help. (this is also an issue for pollsters as has been discussed). Yet, on this campaign and others, far too much campaign time is spent on this activity. Volunteers know it and then become discouraged, knowing that their time is not making a difference. Canvassing/block walking is more effective, as is ANY activity that allows for face-to-face contact with voters. Persuading people is not impossible, particularly if those conversations start earlier than the last 6 weeks prior to an election. More meet/greets and small scale town halls would help.
There is a huge opportunity for State and National party to develop better training and playbooks for campaigns. I won’t even start on how rudimentary I find the use of digital media by politicians–at least in the races I’ve participated in. There is a reason that “cause related marketing” has largely moved to web and social media platforms. We need to do a MUCH better job of this. There is no reason why short ads cannot be made several times a week, recorded by phones, and uploaded to candidate websites and used, when especially good, for digital ads. In Texas, I found Gov. Abbott’s team to be far better (his ads were terrific, btw, and he is a great Governor and candidate) than the county R party or Cruz’s campaign. In fact the Cruz folks rejected any help and referred me to the country. Without POTUS’s rally I’m not sure that Cruz would have pulled it out–and this is in TEXAS–and Beto was a far left, dishonest candidate with absolutely no accomplishments to his credit. On the contrary, he tried (initially) to flee a DUI, and helped his wealthy father-in-law take over an area of El Paso for development which was particularly controversial with the lower-income voters he supposedly cares for. Not to mention using election funds to send $$ to caravan members; and his left-wing positions on the border, health care and education. Cruz did a poor job of advertising his record even against the lies promulgated by the media–particularly big city newspapers here.
Piper and others here at CTH (Conservative Tree House website) earlier today discussed the suburban woman issue. That is a big problem for us I agree. This hurt in my old VA stomping grounds (Brat’s seat) as well. We are not doing a good job of communicating the issues or meeting these voters where they live. Yes, they are ignorant in some cases, low info in others, brainwashed and/or spoiled. But just as in business, success in sales hinges upon understanding the needs/wants of buyers. Good campaigns connect with the voter and understand (and respond to) their underlying concerns. Too often campaign ads, literature and speeches list the policy ideas and past accomplishments or endorsement of the candidate; which is like selling using the user manual. Motivating a voter requires helping that voter understand how the candidate will positively impact their life. POTUS gets it, we need to find a way to replicate his understanding so that more parts of the party can be effective in future campaigns.
I’m going to try my darnedest to get to those in a senior enough position with the party to share these thoughts. My business career in turnarounds, running corp teams and consulting has proven to me that disciplined EXECUTION wins the day. We aren’t there, folks. And we need to get there if we are going to support POTUS in 2020 and 2022, and help keep our Constitutional Republic for our children and future generations.
Election day was kind of a bummer for me, honestly, but of course I’m not protesting, burning, etc. Just thinking how we can improve, and keep fighting to KAGA! (Keep America Great Again).
I particularly like the idea of candidates and townhalls. Why not and why not video it and put in on You Tube. Do our candidates even use YouTube? Does the party have an account? If it does, why don’t loyal Republicans know about it? There’s really no or little cost to do this.
We are fortunate here to have good groups in the Rhodes College Republicans, U of M Republicans and the Young Americans for Freedom. Their engagement in the local party is an asset, but perhaps they could be used and appreciated more.
We don’t use blogs enough either and there is no real coordination in the state regarding a local blog reference tool.
The Shelby GOP has very little presence in the city. How you build that I don’t know, but the current atmosphere makes Republicans in Memphis feel like outsiders who can’t even bring up our party affiliation. This is not right.
Across the nation more attention needs to be put on voter fraud. Democrat states appear to allow anything to happen in districts in which they are favored. Nevada needs to be examined; Texas, too, and Governor Abbott has promised he would.
In South Carolina, for the seat Katie Arrington (who was hurt in a car “accident” early this summer), something funny happened. A local tweeted “How do six precincts in St. Johns, SC, with 13,046 total registered voters, generate well in excess of 20,000 votes? [Same six precincts generated only 5,656 votes in 2016 election] Yeah, something’s fishy alright.”
We need to explore complaints in other states. The feds need to look into all of these and those who commit voter fraud need to be prosecuted severely.
We have two years to do makes these changes It can be done. Will it?