Never Campaign on Unofficial Holidays

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be campaigning on recognized national holidays, but did you know there are unofficial holidays you shouldn’t be campaigning on either?

There are indeed.

And if you’re actively campaigning on them it’ll likely leave a bad taste in the voters mouths resulting in a  not so good Election Day for you.

What are these unofficial holidays?

First, let’s cover the official holidays.

You should not be actively campaigning on any major American holidays.

Don’t campaign on Christmas, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Independence Day Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Veterans Day.

Do not knock on doors, make phone calls, or send emails on these days.

Regular people do not want to be hear from office seekers on these days.  They have their own plans, and unless you are related to them, they don’t include you.

If you decide to campaign on those days, don’t be surprised if it negatively affects you at the polls.

Voters will think you have no social skills or manners.  Others will think you’re just plain weird or annoying.

Despite what you think of some of incumbents, voters don’t elect weird or annoying people.

The Unofficial American Holidays

Unofficial American Holidays are days that most people recognize and celebrate even though its not a federal or state holiday.

One such unofficial American holiday is September 11th. 

I hesitate to call 9/11 a holiday.  It is definitely a national day of remembrance and reflection.

With 2021 being the 20th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks against our country, you don’t want to be actively campaigning on that day.

This has especially come true given the emotionally jarring withdraw from Afghanistan and the 13 young American service members killed in the line of duty in Kabul.

One of them was a 20 year old Marine from my hometown which has been publicly grieving and honoring his sacrifice since news broke that one of our own was among the 13 American lives lost.

For 9/11 — especially this year — be aware that there will be many raw feelings and you don’t want to come off in any way as callous or disrespectful.

Attend ceremonies and events honoring those we lost on September 11, 2001 and in the 20 years since, but I do not recommend actively campaigning.

Be sure to post something appropriate on your socials.

By appropriate I mean non-partisan and as non-political as possible.

Al Qaeda didn’t attack Republicans or Democrats. They attacked the United States of America.

Other than the above mentioned things, please take the day off and resume your campaign activities on Sunday.

Take the day off and resume your campaign activities on Sunday.

Other such unofficial holidays you should be aware of include Super Bowl Sunday, Mother’s Day, and Halloween.

Super Bowl Sunday is a de facto holiday observed by millions of Americans.  

It is a day for high caloric food, cold beer, entertaining commercials, and yes even a football game (at least for the first half usually).

Should you knock on voters doors or call them on the phone you are going to piss them off.

Super Bowl Sunday is their day, not yours, so leave them alone.

Plus, if you’re out campaigning and not watching the Super Bowl yourself, it’ll make you look un-American and weird.

Again, un-American and weird candidates don’t usually win elections.

Mother’s Day is another day it is an absolute no-no to be out there actively campaigning.

The voters will be with mom that day. You should be too.

If you’re not, even if your mother is no longer with us or lives thousands of miles away, don’t walk precincts, make phone calls, or send emails on Mother’s Day.

Voters will think you either don’t like your mom.

When was the last time you saw a candidate who didn’t like their mother get elected?

Halloween is also off limits for campaigning for two big reasons.

One, you’ve got too much competition on the streets with all the kids out trick or treating.

Leave the door knocking to the costumed children.

Anyone that’s answering their door on October 31st is handing out candy. Those who aren’t won’t be opening their doors for anyone else.

Secondly, the voters will be concerned about their kids on Halloween.

If you’re out there campaigning or calling them, they’ll wonder why you’re not with your kids.

While you may not have kids, or yours are grown, or you don’t partake in Halloween it doesn’t matter.

The voter doesn’t care why you are free to bug them, they’ll only know that you’re bugging them rather than making sure your kids are safe as they go door to door for fun sized Snickers and Sour Patch Kids.

There are also other unofficial holidays.

Christmas Eve and New Years Days are also days you shouldn’t be campaigning on.

Voters have their own plans those days which usually involve rushing around getting ready for that night.

Don’t do anything to disturb that and be an annoyance to them.

At the same time if you live in a community that is very religious (regardless of the religion) know which days are holidays them.

It is disrespectful to intrude upon a sacred religious holiday, even if you don’t recognize or separate it.

You’re running to represent the people of your community.  Part of representing them is respecting their beliefs.  So such respect by respecting their observation of their sacred days.

But what about the Fourth of July Parade?

Many communities have events and parades on Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

As a candidate for public office you should be participating in these activities on these holidays.

If you’re not, you run the risk of voters thinking you’re un-American or there’s something wrong with you.

I’ve already covered how that typically works out for candidates, so don’t follow that bad example.

However, there is still a caveat to being involved in such parades or events.

You should not be actively campaigning at them.

While you might have a booth or a table to hand out literature, handing out fans (preferably with your name and logo them) or cold water would be better.

These events still fall on a holiday and voters who show up are there because of the holiday, not because of you.

Your job is simply to be present, get your name and face out there, and show that you respect the same holiday as the voters.

After that you should go home or allow yourself to have a little fun.

Days of rest are few and far between on the campaign trail, so take them when you can get them.

Official and unofficial holidays are great days to take a break from your campaign and not risk it hurting you at the ballot box.