In the simplest of terms, the candidate who gets the most votes in an election is the winner.
Many candidates, including those who raise plenty of money and do a ton of advertising, have no clue how they really won.
And in many cases losing candidates don’t understand how that happened because they think they’ve been doing everything right to win.
That’s because there is a method to winning an election. Winning doesn’t just happen by chance.
Yes, you need to raise enough money to get your winning message out to the voters.
And yes you need to dedicate a great deal of your time knocking on doors and making phone calls to your targeted voters.
But the real secret sauce of winning an election is knowing who plans on voting for you, who won’t, and who can’t make up their minds.
Here’s an easy way to give ID tags to the voters of your district:
If you’re serious about winning your election, then you need to put emphasis on identifying your supporters when contacting votes.
You should use a number, letter, or short code to identify where the voters stand when it comes to voting you into office.
This can be done by hand on your walking and calling sheets, be put into a database, or it can be input into the voter contact software you may be using.
When a voters says they are going to vote for you, label them as a 1, Y for yes, or SUP for “supporter.”
And remember: Anytime a voter says they will vote for you, always ask if you can display one of your campaign signs in their yard.
A voter who says they will vote for you AND put a sign in front of their house really will vote for you in the election.
Now if a voter isn’t sure or is otherwise noncommittal about supporting you, label that person as a 2 or a U or UND for “undecided.”
Finally, if a voter says they won’t be voting for you or that they will be voting for someone else, thank them for their time and immediately label that person with as a 3, N for no, or OPP for “opposed.”
What to do After You’ve IDed the Voters
Now that you have the voters your campaign has made one-on-one contact with identified as supporters, undecieded, and opposed you need to know what to do with them.
The best way to do this is in reverse order of importance.
Voters labeled as a 3, N, or OPP
Stop contacting the voters opposed to your candidacy!
They are not going to change their minds and vote for you. Ever.
Campaigning to voters opposed to you is a waste of time and money.
Plus, by doing so you could be reminding them to come out and vote against you.
It is always a horrible strategy to motivate your opponent’s supporters to get out and vote.
Voters labeled as a 2, U, or UND
You need to campaign hard to this group of undecided voters.
In many races, the undecideds will determine who gets elected and who does not.
You need to persuade them that you share their views, that you’ll fight for them, and that you’re the right person for the job.
Each undecided voter who comes to your side should then be relabeled as a supporter.
Voters labeled as a 1, Y, or SUP
Just because a voter says they are going to vote for you doesn’t mean you can stop contacting them.
You need to stay in touch with them and solidify their support.
Generally, once a voter makes up their mind to definitely vote for a particular candidate during an election they don’t switch to another.
You want to reinforce the rightness of that decision.
Additionally, you want to make sure any soft supporters you’ve identified become 100% solid supporters.
The candidate with the most solid, committed supporters win on Election Day
How to win Using this Voter ID System
As you head into the last weekend before the Election, these voters that have been IDed as your supporters are the only ones that matter.
They are the ones you want to make sure mail in their ballots and show up at the polls.
As stated previously, you do not want to drive your opponent’s voters to the polls.
You also don’t want to drive undecided voters to the polls either.
Why? Because you have no idea who they are going to vote for.
If they couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to casting their ballot for you in the weeks leading up to the election, then these voters are unreliable.
Treat them like the voters who are opposed to you. Ignore them.
The only voters you need to care about in the 4 or 5 days of your GOTV (Get Out The Vote) program are the ones who have said “Yes, I’m going to vote for you.”
And the candidate who gets the most voters they’ve identified as a 1 out to vote, will likely be the candidate who winds up being number one when the votes are counted.