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 with them.
Candidates who don’t connect with the voters lose elections.
Your campaign message needs to be about the voters and not about you, your resume, or your endorsements.
The crux of your message needs to be the issue or set of issues that create a great amount of stress, anger, or fear with the voters in your district.
In a broad sense, I think we all know that the coronavirus pandemic, the impacts it has had on society, and how we move forward.
More specifically though, I don’t know what the particular issues are in your community, but if you’re talking to enough people with diverse interests and backgrounds, you’ve likely picked up on something – or a handful of somethings.
If you want to make sure that those issues are the ones that matter to the voters, then, by all means, you need to do a poll.
Not sure you can afford a professional poll? That’s okay.
Here’s three ways you can do a poll regardless of your campaign’s budget to make sure you’re talking about the right issues.
Now, if there’s an issue that you feel very passionate about but the voters don’t give a rip, then don’t talk about the issue.
You may not like hearing this, but if an issue is not important to the voters, no matter how dear it may be to you, it’s not going to help you win an election.
On the other hand though, if there’s a particular issue that frustrates voters across the demographic spectrum at an extremely intense level, hone in on that like a laser.
You might be hesitant to make your message mainly about one issue because you fear it makes you sounds to simple, but when it comes to campaign messaging — the simpler and clearer you can make it, the better off you’ll do.
Now, once you know the issues that have high intensity with your voters, it’s time to fully craft your message.
You need to state the problem or problems facing your community clearly and succinctly.
You then need to articulate a plan that makes sense and the voters can support.
And this is where things get tricky for a lot of candidates.
They tend to muddle things up and lose the clarity needed for a winning campaign message.
No matter how complex a problem and your proposed solution may be, you need to keep your message simple and clear.
If you don’t, the voters will have a hard time understanding what you’re talking about.
The average American voter now has an attention span that’s less than the common goldfish.
That means, if your message is focusing on too many issues, you’re not going to be able to hold their attention.
At the same time you need to keep your solutions you offer to the problems as simple and clear as possible.
I typically advise my candidates to focus on no more than three problems they are running for office to fix.
Then each solution offered has three more specific points backing it up — but no more than three each.
It’s an easy formula that communicates clearly what you want to do in office.
You focus on three problems you want to fix, provide a realistic solution to each problem, and back up each solution with three specifics of their own.
Now this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as there may be many problems facing your community, especially today.
So yes have as many as five issues that need addressing.
If that’s the case, then point out five issues you’re focused on — but no more than five.
For each of these five issues, you again offer solutions to address each, but still only have three specific points for each solution — not five per solution.
The wordier and more complex things get, the more likely you are to
When you’re not holding the voters’ attention, you’ve lost or confused them.
That’s bad because it means the voters don’t understand why you’re running and what you wish to accomplish.
And voters don’t cast ballots for people they can’t understand — ask Jeb Bush or Beto O’Rourke.
If you’re serious about connecting with the voters and winning your election, keep your campaign focused on three major problems or issues that strongly resonate with the voters.
Simple and direct messages are clear and easy to understand — and they win elections.
It also shows you’re on the same page as the majority of voters.
You understand their anger, pain, or frustration.
When that happens it’s easy for voters to identify with you and what you stand for, and it paints a contrast with your opponent.
And that’s how elections are won.