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In recent weeks we’ve been discussing timeless lessons from the 2016 election. Today a little about some of the rules that were bent and broken in political combat. And one that was not broken and never will be.

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The Bent and the Broken?

Remember all the hype about the debates…the endless row of talking heads on talk TV yapping about what the candidates had to do, or not do, and the post debate analysis by the smart set who yakked about every move, every word, every smirk and insult that they said sealed the election for Clinton?

Yeah right. Donald Trump came up short in every debate. He still won the election. Proving only this…you can survive bad debate performances as long as you don’t make a fatal mistake.

Remember those who complained about the mainstream media controlling the election? Put that one in the dustbin. That rule died at the dawn of the internet age, to the extent that it was ever true.

There was another myth pushed by the smart set…that ill-informed candidates always lose.


Hillary Clinton was one of the best informed, best read, best prepared candidates we’ve seen in the past century. More important than smarts however, is the ability to clearly articulate your views and your vision. The candidate who did that best won the election.

And one more rule that got badly bent….the notion that peddling hate in a campaign is fatal.

Our new Commander in Chief portrayed his opponents as evil. He taunted, belittled, and insulted his adversaries, real and imagined. Relentlessly agitated against anyone who crossed him. Mr. Trump is not the first to do these things. In fact, those gospels of combat were written by Saul Alinksy in his book, “Rules for Radicals.”

Which brings me to mention the one rule that has stood the test of time since the beginning of the Republic.

Your strategy will always be determined by the political environment, the demographics of your jurisdiction, your opponent, and your resources. From year to year, and election to election those moons are never aligned in the same way… Which is why we will never again see an election like the one we just had.

This issue is just one of several topics I have covered in my new My New E-book“10 Timeless Lessons from the 2016 election.” IT’S FREE.

If you’d like a copy, go to JayTownsend.com.  Near the top of the home page, type in your email address and it’s yours.

running for office

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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