Political Campaign Strategy

Before any political campaign strategy is put to paper, it is worthwhile really considering the political landscape that the election will be fought. Is it a time of reactionary politics where liberal ideas will not be well received? Are the demographics of the area changing, bringing in a more urban or progressive cohort that might resist conservative ideas? Is there a particularly hot-button topic like immigration that is dominating the political discourse? Are you an incumbent politician who is tainted by something that has happened or had to happen during your administration? Will you need to go on the offensive against your competitors for this reason, or will you be fighting a defensive campaign?

There are a number of places where you can begin your search for data. Your local authority should be able to provide you with a digital version of the electoral register. If not, ask them why not? You might be able to get a file from party sources (if you are a political party member) that has been worked on over time. Otherwise, you might be able to purchase voter data from a third-party vendor (if this is legal in your jurisdiction). Failing all of these, a property register can suffice for getting started in building a voter database.

There are a number of ways this can be done, like online surveys, face-to-face canvassing, market research and social media interaction. The critical thing is to have a codified way of capturing raw data into tags or hashtags for example. Having a way of tagging conversations with #education or #guncontrol will give your team a way to understand the entirety of voter outreach in a simplified way.

Quick question, do you know how many voters there are in your district? Do you know how many are likely to vote, or who are likely to vote for your competitor? Having answers to these questions will really help you refine your political campaign strategy and to begin your voter targeting work from the voter databases you have assembled. No campaign expects to communicate with everyone in their district. Ideally, you will segment your audience and just speak to those people who are likely to vote and who are either your supporters or could be convinced to vote for you. If that group of people isn’t big enough to get you elected then you should consider pulling out of the race!

This will be dictated by your budget but should also be based on getting the right person for the type of campaign you are running. You might be running a local campaign that needs someone with local knowledge and good contacts.