A SIDEBAR ON NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING
What about negative campaigning: does it work? Yes… and no. It does improve differential performance of your candidate. However, it does so both by firing up your supporters (everybody instinctively understands this) and by depressing turnout in that moveable middle. This – aside from not being good for the cause of democracy overall – denies a true mandate to even the “winner.” The mathematicians out there will have rapidly worked out that 51% of the actual votes cast may not really be a majority. And the reality is that election turnout in the U.S., even in a presidential year is mid-50s of percentage points, with off-cycle years in the high 30s… some mandate! This exacerbates the challenge of the post-election environment for the not-so-lucky winner, but I will return to the topic of public policy management in a future post.
OK, SO WHAT NOW?
The prescriptions for campaigns are clear and there is a spectrum of commitment levels along this path to suit all types of candidates, as well as different electoral district demographics. These break down into two major areas: “front office” and “back office.”
First – a truly mobile and social platform for collaboration among campaign staff will not be optional by the 2016 cycle. It will need to be secure, segmented and audit-ready. It will need to allow for quick,mini-poll capture for precinct walkers from a mobile device, with geolocation and timestamp. Materials such as talking points, videos and news articles will be available to share in person or to re-tweet to a circle of followers. More than this, the new electorate needs to be engaged with an app offering many of the same features (continued…)