Why Political Candidates Should Use Humor When Going Negative

As a candidate, if you find yourself in a tight race you’re probably going to need to attack. And there’s a way to do it without coming off as nasty or sleazy.  That’s by using humor. Before we get to deep into this, you might be wondering if you must go negative and on the […]

Why Winning Candidates Need to Always Fit The District

CASE STUDY: What Conor Lamb's Win in Pennsylvania Reminds All Candidates

Last week in Pennsylvania special election, Democrat Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone in a congressional seat Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016. What can candidates learn from this? Though Lamb only won by 627 votes, this victory is quite significant. Not only did Trump pummel Hillary Clinton here, but Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional […]


3 Lessons to Learn from Hillary Clinton and her 2016 Election Loss

CASE STUDY: The dangers her loss teaches all candidates to avoid

Hilary Clinton is all over the country right now promoting and selling her book What Happened. The purpose of the book is to explain and rationalize why she lost a race that nearly everyone (including me) thought she would would win handily. Looking back at her campaign, I believe there are three lessons candidates at […]


5 Winning Lessons from Political Campaign Mastermind Arthur Finkelstein

One of the most successful political strategists of contemporary American politics passed away Friday — Arthur Finkelstein. If you’ve never heard of Arthur, don’t worry about it. That’s the way Arthur liked it. The spotlight belonged to his candidates. He worked entirely behind the scenes. And the work he did there won a lot of […]


2 Winning Candidates Discuss Candidate Debates and Forums

An interview with a Texas school board member & a California city council member

Earlier this week I wrote an article about candidate debates and forums, saying that winning candidates always participate in most of the ones they are invited to. In this piece I’m going to share some insights on debates and forums from two different candidates who each won their election this year in two very different […]


Why Winning Candidates Must Have 100% Focus on Victory

It makes the biggest difference in almost every race.

There’s really only one thing that differentiates a winning political candidate from a losing office seeker. It’s so clear and obvious that many candidates miss it. Simply put, winning candidates focus on winning the election. Losing candidates don’t. Yes, it’s obvious that as a candidate for elected office your focus should be on winning. Yet […]


When Live Political Campaign Telephone Calls Go Bad

I’m a huge proponent of candidates making live phone calls. Live telephone calls are a great way to reach the voters, especially those who are not home when you knock on their doors or who live in remote places. But sometimes live calls don’t go well and they can backfire on a candidate. The Benefits […]


Why Pictures are Worth 1000 Words on Political Campaigns

Part 5 of our case study of the Andy Wilson-Phil Hosp City Council race in Pasadena, CA

We’ve all heard the old cliche, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” There’s a reason it’s a cliche.  It’s because it’s true — especially when you’re running for office. Winning candidates use eye-catching pictures and imagery in their campaign materials. It’s one of the reasons they win. The third rule of the 7 Rules […]


Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Candidate Comparisons

Part 4 in our case study of the Andy Wilson - Phil Hosp race for Pasadena City Council

In a close or a tough race one of the most effective ways to distinguish yourself from your opponent, or opponents, is by doing a candidate comparison. Candidate comparisons allow you to highlights your strengths and attributes while contrasting them against the weaknesses and flaws of at least one other candidate. Comparisons are also a […]


The Wrong Way to do Negative Political Attack Mail

Part 3 of our case study of the Andy Wilson-Phil Hosp race in Pasadena, CA

The late U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen once said, “politics is a full contact sport.” That means if you’re going to run for office you’re likely to get hit with an attack. It also means you’re probably going to have to hit back at the opponent who attacked you. As with all things, there’s a right […]