When Should a Political Candidate Start Running for Office?

One of the biggest things that hampers a political candidate’s chances of winning an election is when they start running too late. But when should a candidate start campaigning? And can a candidate start running too early? I don’t believe there is really a time that is too early to for a candidate to start […]

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3 Personality Traits Voters Want in Political Candidates

If you’re a candidate for office these days you’ve got a thankless job. A huge majority of Americans simply do not trust people in public office or seeking it. But rather than allowing that to stop you from running, you can use it to your advantage. A big reason many people don’t trust government is […]

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Why Candidates Should Consider Sending Thanksgiving Cards

With the holiday season upon us, many candidates are thinking about sending Christmas cards to their supporters. But might I suggest you send Thanksgiving cards instead? First, I am a huge proponent of sending out personal hand written notes and cards sent at any time. A personal note goes a long way to cement a relationship. […]

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5 Lessons for Candidates from the Virginia November 2017 Election

What you should learn from Ralph Northam's victory in the Old Dominion

Last Tuesday in Virginia,  Ed Gillespie and Republicans took a serious pummeling at the hands of Ralph Northam and the Democrats. The pundits are all talking about what these results could foreshadow in the 2018 midyear elections. But what does last week’s election in Old Dominion mean to you as a candidate for office? First […]

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3 Things Winning Candidates Avoid with Last Mailers

Mail is a giant part of reaching voters and winning a local election. But there are pitfalls winning candidates avoid with their mail during the last week before an election. Here’s three things you need to know about your last mailers. 1. Don’t Send Your Mailers Too Late How good is a campaign mailer that […]

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Why Mail is Still King in Local Political Campaigns

A lot of people tell candidates that direct mail is dead. They’re wrong. Direct mail is king when it comes to winning local elections. Sending mail to the voters is the best way for a candidate to mass communicate in a local campaign. It’s been this way for years and it is not about to […]

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3 Reasons Winning Candidates Don’t Buy Newspaper Ads

Once upon a time newspaper ads and editorial endorsements helped win elections. Those days are long since over. Candidates no longer need to worry about a newspaper’s endorsement or buying an ad in any paper. I tell the candidates I work with not to put too much energy into seeking a newspaper’s endorsement. I also […]

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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, […]

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Candidate Beware! The Press is not a Friend to your Campaign

5 Tips for Dealing with the Traditional Media

As a candidate for elected office you will need to deal with press in some form of fashion. Most people who have never run for office lack any experience in this are.  That often gets them into trouble as candidates. First the traditional media landscape has changed much in the last 20 years, even more […]

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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 […]

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