Campaign Lesson #8 – Campaigns MUST evolve!

Campaign Lesson #8 – Campaigns MUST evolve!

I really wanted to title this piece “There’s no excuse for incompetence,” but considering the general demeanor of this always fascinating existence, it wouldn’t have narrowed the subject matter down nearly enough. Rest assured, we will be talking about how an inexplicable conscious incompetence can completely destroy a campaign.

Please understand that we’re not talking about the run-of-the-mill mistakes every campaign manager makes. Back in August I warned my candidates that we’d be lucky to see half of the then 60,000 outstanding Vote by Mail ballots returned, and I wuz wrong! As of Saturday, 77,000 of the 91,000 issued to Kane County voters have come back!

But that errant prophecy didn’t damage my political charges because, when the data demonstrably changed in early October, so did my mind! But even though those same early voting numbers are available to any candidate it would seem that most have failed to adjust to the wonder that is 2020.

So, in order to set up our column conclusion, and now that it’s too late for the opposing campaigns to do anything about it, I’ll be more than happy to share some of that critical data with you:

  • There will be no “Blue Wave!” For the first time, Republicans have outvoted their Democratic VBM/early voting counterparts.
  • Hispanic voters are hitting the polls at the same scant 7-percent ratio they always have. They will have no effect on this election.
  • Newly registered voters account for just 4 percent of early voting, so they’re even less meaningful than Hispanics.

The age demographics are fascinating, too:

  • More 65-plus voters have voted early than any other age group.
  • 50-plus voters have cast early ballots at 2.3 times the rate the 49 and unders have.
  • Both the 50 to 64 AND the 65-plus age groups have outvoted:
    • 18 to 29-year-olds
    • 30 to 39-year-olds
    • 40 to 50-year-olds

But the most fascinating early voting stat is, in a cycle that will likely draw a record 180,000 Kane County voters, as of close of business Saturday, 171,282 of them have already voted. So, unless first-time and Hispanic and new voters are going to flood the polls tomorrow – and there’s no indication they will – we’re gonna have some very quiet polling places!

And I’m sure those Kane County numbers accurately reflect the rest of the Collar Counties.

So, what were 25th State District State Senate candidate Karina Villa’s people up to this weekend? For starters, they were passing out door hangers to households that had voted over a week ago.

That’s what we in the campaign biz call “an inexcusable waste of time and money!” And there’s absolutely no rationale for this level of incompetence because eliminating early voters from those walk lists is a piece of cake!

Then, per the attached photo, Villa’s people lined our sleepy Geneva subdivision median with a slew of illegally placed signs. That will only serve to aggravate and motivate my generally Republican Neighbors who tend to vote later than the Democrats.

Between her absurd four Planned Parenthood mailers, and now this, I’m predicting Villa’s underfunded and hyper-conservative opponent, Jeanette Ward, will ultimately prevail. It’s still so close that Villa could pull it off, but it will be despite herself and not because of it.

Villa’s campaign should’ve slammed the door on this one weeks ago, but they’re doing their damndest to give it away, instead

Along those very same late lines, as I was watching a slew of soccer and football this weekend, I was surprised by the number of state rep network campaign commercials. When an experienced friend crunched those numbers a few years ago, he discovered there’s only a 1 in 85 chance that you’re actually reaching a district voter.

At least cable ads, which also aren’t too terribly effective at the state rep/senate level, can be more accurately targeted. But even if those expensive network TV spots were more appropriately directed, they’re patently pointless because everyone’s already voted!

The very same problem is plaguing Kane County chairman candidate Corinne Pierog’s last minute digital ad blitz. As an in-district voter, I’m suddenly seeing her face pop up all over the Internet, but I voted two weeks ago!

Though those campaign fundamentals haven’t changed since Cicero penned those letters to his little brother Quintus, no two campaigns are alike. And if a candidate and/or campaign manager fails to adjust to the criteria that define the current effort, unless their opponent is even worse, they will lose!

Considering the data we’ve discussed is readily available to all political campaigns, there’s no excuse for the level of incompetence we’ve just discussed. And unlike the politicians we tend to elect, those numbers never lie, either.


The professionals at Forward Communication understand that campaigns MUST successfully evolve to be truly effective. Please Contact Us for a free consultation.



One thought on “Campaign Lesson #8 – Campaigns MUST evolve!

  1. I am so tired of hearing about youth vote or rise in Hispanic voters. Hasn’t happened in my lifetime and I doubt it will. And a note to liberal Democrats neither Hispanics nor young are necessarily liberal. In 1967 after voting age changed George Wallace won 54% of dem primary school n Michigan and here is a fret Times column explaining how youth vote will lead McGovern to victory

    The magnitude and impact of the youth vote has developed into a key issue in the Presidential election, with both parties staking out their claim to the 25 million new voters enfranchised by the Twenty‐sixth Amendment. Democrats point optimistically to the fact that far three of four youths have registered Democratic and that 57 per cent of those already registered favor Senator McGovern. They make much of the fact that President Nixon’s 1968 total margin of victory in most states was only one‐eighth or less of the number represented by newly enfranchised voters in those

Leave a Reply