This is an article I never thought I’d have to write, but it seems too many candidates just won’t give voters a break during the holidays.
So I’m going to say this as clearly as I can.
Unless you have an election in December or early January — put your campaign on hold during the holidays.
Don’t be sending out mass emails, announcing endorsements, posting new videos, mailing the voters about your policies and positions, and definitely don’t be sending out blast texts, making phone calls, or knocking on doors.
And please please please do not be raising money during the holidays. That’s unforgivable.
There’s three reasons for candidates to put their campaigns on a Hiatus for the Holidays:
1. No One Is Paying Attention
It’s the holidays.
The vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas in one fashion or another.
They’ve got enough on their minds and on their plates already.
Campaign messages from candidates during this time will merely come across as noise.
And people turn off or tune out noise.
Any campaigning you do during the holidays will be a waste of your time and your money.
2. It Makes Candidates Look Bad
As mentioned above, most Americans celebrate Christmas in our country.
To a large number of Christians, a candidate pitching themselves at Christmastime is at the least tacky and at the most can come off as insensitive.
The same can be true this time of year with Jewish voters if a candidate is pushing themselves on them during Hanukkah.
If there’s a large enough segment of voters in your district who take their religious beliefs, practices, and traditions seriously, you run the risk of offending them by campaigning during the holidays.
And voters who are offended by a candidate, don’t wind up voting for that candidate.
Case in point: the soon to be ex-president of the United States, Donald Trump.
3. Voters Need a Break from Politics
Politics seems to be non stop in the age of 24/7 cable news and incessant social media use.
With general elections happening in one way or another in November, the voters can be worn out by politics come December — especially if its been a presidential election year.
Candidates tend to live and breathe politics. Some voters tend to do the same.
But most people, even high propensity voters, take a breather from politics, especially at Christmastime.
Don’t intrude about that break. Honor it and respect it by going dark during the holidays.
The upcoming election you’re running in may be the most important thing in the world to you.
The voters don’t feel the same way about it, so give them a break from politics please.
Not only do the voters deserve it, but so do you and your family.
Unless your election is in December or early January (like those special elections coming up in Georgia) reduce your public campaign activities during the holiday season.
The rule of thumb I use with the candidates I consult for is to not actively campaign from the week of Thanksgiving until after the First of the New Year.
This saves your campaign’s energy and resources, respects religious beliefs, and gives the voters a break from political persuasion and sophistry.
Any candidate foolish enough to do so puts their own candidacy at risk from irritated voters unlikely to forget their uninvited Christmas intrusions.