Over the past few months, we have discussed the components of your message and the many ways of disseminating your news to the political marketplace

Looking for Help in Your Campaign? Call Jay at (845) 458-1210. The call is FREE.

Today, we turn to some of the things that need to be done or known before you ever leave your front door as a candidate for public office.

First up? Demographic research on your jurisdiction

I am continually amazed at how little candidates know about the places where they are running. That is like embarking on a long trip without a clear destination or any notion of how you will get there. That’s not very smart, and candidates who try it usually run out of money or commit some colossal mistake that sinks their campaign.

What must you know about the voters you are marketing yourself to?

Start with easy-to-find basics—party affiliation, ethnicity, race, religion, age, income, education level, and gender.

Then break it down and categorize it by partisan affiliation. Do the Republicans differ from the Democrats? Do non-enrolled voters differ from those who have a partisan affiliation? Look at turnout patterns. Who votes in low-turnout off-year elections versus high turnout even in a year and Presidential elections?

This is important because it affects your appeal, budget, targets, and every other component of your campaign

Dig down. Who are the major employers? What is the median household income? The unemployment rate? Is this a white, blue-collar, or mixed district? What is the ratio of private versus public sector employment? Are there big differences in income and employment levels in different geographic areas of your jurisdiction?

What percentage of the people are on public assistance or dependent on the government for health care, food, and housing?

What percentage of the people have health insurance, and who are the primary health care providers?

What is the state of education? Teacher salaries, graduation rates, proficiency in reading and math?

Are there critical military installations or many people living from military spending?

If you are well versed on your journey before you start… If you’ve studied the maps and know what you are likely to encounter on the trip, the more likely it is that you will arrive at your destination without going over budget or get lost on a detour that throws your campaign off course.

Plenty of horror stories about candidates who did not plan their trip. Or know what they needed to before they started their journey as a political candidate. They now reside in a vast political graveyard reserved for the ill-informed and ill-prepared. Those there carried to their grave the pain of unfulfilled promise. Don’t let that happen to you.

Have questions? Call me at 845-458-1210. Or email me at Jay@JayTownsend.com

Last Week’s Video: Running for Office? Using the Press to Communicate Your Message

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