Election Day is only 38 days away as of today. The marathon of the campaign has now become a full sprint. On Tuesday there will only be five weeks left to convince voters to cast their ballot of you. It’s now or never if you want to win. It’s also the perfect time to do a poll. I know because I’m doing several right now.
Why Now Is the Right Time to Poll
5 to 6 weeks before Election Day is an excellent time to conduct a poll in a campaign. Here’s why:
- It gives you enough time to get useful information and deploy it in your campaign.
- Voters are now taking the time to focus on candidates and elections, as Monday night’s debate viewing audience proves.
- Voters opinions on issues typically won’t change much between now and Election Day.
What You Should Ask in Your Poll Now
There are four main things I seek to learn in a poll 5 to 6 weeks before an election:
- Who’s really going to vote. Testing the intensity of voters interest is important. You learn who’s fired up to vote and who’s likely to stay home. With this data you can effectively target your resources and messaging for the last month of the campaign.
- What voters really care about. I like to know what issues the voters find important without leading them to their answer. The polls I do tend to ask voters what one or two issues are they most concerned about currently. The aggregate results will show you which few issues a large block of voters are talking about, as well as which issues are only being mentioned by the fringe.
- Where the candidates stand currently. Testing how all of the candidates in a race stack up now with the voters will tell you not only where you’re currently at, but which demographics of voters are with you or for your opponent. Usually in a local race, the largest block of voters still haven’t made up their minds. Knowing who these undecided voters are will pay a major factor in campaign activities for the last four weeks.
- What issues move voters to and away from candidates. After testing the ballot, I like to test information about the candidates, both positive and negative, to see what moves voters into their support column, or out of it. That data can then be used to refine your messaging to move undecided voters to your side. It can also be used to attack a leading opponent and weaken their support.
Who I Use for My Polls
There’s a lot of people out there who tout themselves as pollsters. They may well be. It’s not hard to conduct a rudimentary poll. I’ve put them together for financially strapped campaigns. The data received back is limited.
If you want to conduct a reliable poll that digs deep and provides you with detailed information using cross-tabs that slice into issues and demographics, I recommend Matt Jason with Candid Research Solutions.
I do not receive any type of commission or affiliate pay from Matt or Candid Research Solutions.
I recommend Matt solely because he’s the best and most affordable pollster I know. I’ve worked with Matt on my clients polls for 16 years. His polling data has helped me win plenty of unwinnable races and made me look like a miracle worker with some of the victories I’ve pulled off.