Why Political Party Stereotypes are Dangerous to Campaigns

Partisan generalizations about voters are traps you must avoid

Political party stereotypes go like this: all Democrats favor activist government, legal abortion, and placing limits on 2nd Amendment rights, while all Republicans want smaller government, no restrictions on gun ownership, and to overturn Roe v. Wade. These generalizations may be true for some if not many voters of each major party, but if you […]

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How a Good Poll Helps Political Candidates Win Elections

CASE STUDY: The role polling played in beating a city council incumbent

As a political consultant I always try to conduct a poll as I begin a campaign. A good poll can tell you which issues matter the most to the voters, which ones they don’t care about, and what subsets of voters are most convinced by specific messaging. A poll can make the difference between winning […]

5 Things Winning Political Candidates Learn from a Poll

And 3 ways to do a poll for your campaign

A lot of candidates think they are going to win, but when the ballots are counted on Election Night they go down in flames. This usually happens because they never knew where they stood with the voters, what issues mattered most to the voters, and who the voters trusted. There’s an easy way to prevent […]

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Where Winning Candidates Find Voters Online in 2017

Edison Research's Infinite Dial gives you a map

Once upon a time, it was easy to communicate with the voters en masse. You sent them mailers, advertised in the daily newspaper, and ran advertisements on television and radio stations. Then they gave us the Internet and everything changed. It’s become more and more difficult for candidates to reach voters with mass communication. That’s […]

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Why Candidates with a Good Story Win Elections

Learn the Six Pillars of a winning story

We all love a good story. There’s nothing like seeing a movie that transports you somewhere else or a novel that you get lost in, or sitting down and listening to someone who can hold your attention captive just by the way they can tell a story. People love stories, but not just any stories. […]

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7 Rules for Going Negative on Political Campaigns

Most voters will tell you they’re turned off by negative campaigning literature. They’re probably telling the truth, but at the same time negative campaigning is influencing their vote. How can this be?  How can voters who adamantly hate negative campaigning, have their voting behavior swayed when a candidate is attacked? Why Voters Respond to Negative […]

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5 Common Polling Mistakes Candidates Make

Professional pollster Matthew Jason contributed this article to The Campaign School to help candidates avoid the common mistakes he often sees in political polling. Polling Mistake #1:  Not Testing Campaign Issues or Messages “People had an illogical, self-serving rationale when it came to interpreting the behavior of others.”  — Best-selling author Marisha Pessl Why is your […]

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How Polling Can Help You Win Big on Election Day

An Interview with Pollster Matthew Jason

Opinion polling is a major part of modern campaigning and politics. If you doubt this, just turn on your preferred cable news channel.  There’s a good bet there’s a story being discussed about the latest poll on something. Many candidates make the mistake of thinking that polls are only for national or statewide candidates, and […]