Do Voters Make Rational Decisions at Election Time?

Nobel Economist Richard Thaler might have an idea for candidates

You wanted to say ‘no’ when you read that, didn’t you? You’ve seen too many election results to believe voters act in a rational way. But what if those being irrational aren’t the voters but the pundits and politicians foolishly criticize the voters for their choices? Last week Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in […]


WARNING: Big Endorsements Don’t Equal Election Victory

One of the most important but also the most useless things for a candidate are endorsements. Yes, big endorsements help you raise money and provide you third party credibility. They won’t however guarantee you a win. As I wrote previously, the three most important parts of a winning political campaign are the three M’s:  message, […]


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 […]


The Power of a Three-Point Plan in Political Campaign Messaging

A key part of a candidate’s winning message is the plan. The plan tells the voters what you want to do on their behalf should they elect you to office. The dangerous temptation every candidate faces is to offer a plan that’s dense with information and details. Don’t do that.  Stick to a three-point plan […]


The Three C’s of a Winning Political Campaign Message

Last week Daniel Henninger wrote in  The Wall Street Journal about President Trump bringing John Kelly on as new his Chief of Staff and Kelly’s immediate firing of Anthony Scaramucci. He stated, “Mr. Kelly’s new job is to deploy across the Trump White House the three c-words that Anthony Scaramucci did not use in his […]


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 Never Confuse Voters with their Message

If you’re serious about winning your election, then you need a winning campaign message that resonates with the voters on an issue or set of issues they strongly care about. If you’re not talking about issues important to the voters – or you’re doing it in a confusing way – you’re not going to connect […]


Why Consistency is Key to Winning an Election

You have a winning message that’s about the voters, centers on issues that extremely frustrate them, and have a realistic plan to make things better for your community. But you’re still not connecting with the voters. How is this possible? If you called me in and asked me to examine your campaign to figure out […]


Why Candidates Who Talk Only About Themselves Often Lose

9 out of 10 times the candidate with the best message wins the election. This is true even if the candidate does not have the most money to spend or doesn’t have the most stellar resume. One of the reasons this happens is that the other candidate in the race, frequently the person the insiders […]