Why do Smart Candidates Lose? In this video, 5 Easily Avoided Mistakes that Fell the Election Campaigns of Talented, Smart People.
“Why do you think so and so lost the election?” It is a common question after a hotly contested, high-profile political campaign. One that I’ve been asked many times. Today I’ll share the most common reasons smart people lose; the answers may surprise you.
1. They copycat
They look at what worked for somebody else in a different year, in an other jurisdiction, and then assume that the strategy that worked for someone else will work for them. It won’t, and it doesn’t, for every race requires a unique message, a unique plan to execute the news, and a unique campaign strategy. By the way, political candidates are not the only ones who make that mistake. High-priced political consulting do as well, including those who worked for Hillary Clinton.
2. They don’t delegate
They spend too much time mired in the day-to-day operation of their political campaign, to the detriment of tasks only a candidate can do. Political candidates are the star performers in their movies. They must always be at the top of their game, a full-time job.
3. They waste money
They waste money on things that don’t matter at the expense of things that do. Usually, because they are not up to date on how and where voters get their information, technology is changing everything. Very quickly. What was a great way to reach a target audience two years ago, or even last year, may not be the best way to reach them this year.
4. Their campaign message is a confusing mess
Voters are busy people. If voters can’t quickly grasp why a political candidate wants the job and what the candidate will do for them, they will not spend time deciphering a confusing morass of blather.
5. They bomb on stage
They blow a speech before a significant audience or wilt during a political debate. So, they say or do something stupid in an interview with a TV or newspaper reporter, usually because they were ill-briefed and ill-prepared.
This is why good people lose elections they could have won. Every single one of these mistakes can be avoided.
If you are running for office now or soon and would like help planning your political campaign, please visit my website at JayTownsend.com.
Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Within hours, civil unrest had spread to every major city in the country. Burning. Looting. Rioting. Violence everywhere. Protesters are assaulting police. Police beating protesters.
Senator Robert Kennedy happened to be in the City of Indianapolis that evening. He was asked by the Mayor to remain in his hotel room, telling Kennedy that the police could not guarantee his safety. Kennedy instead instructed his aides to take him to what was then the ghetto of Indianapolis. He mounted the back of a flatbed truck and gave the speech you will hear.
Because of that speech, there was no violence in Indianapolis that night, the only major city in America where there was none.
To watch it is to see the raw power of words, a speech that forever altered the course of a city, and a shining example of leadership in a troubled time. May it inspire you to help heal a nation in pain.
For severe candidates, future candidates, and those who want to help good people win an election, here is a video: 5 Strategic Steps to Victory in a political campaign—these 5 steps all candidates must take on their route to power.