Top 5 Tasks for Winning a Fall Campaign


TO: Republican state legislative candidates
FROM: Frank Donatelli, Chairman, GOPAC
DATE: September 10, 2012
SUBJECT: Top 5 Tasks for Winning a Fall Campaign

Republicans and Democrats have now completed their National Conventions, in which each party came together to nominate their candidate for President of the United States and finalize their party platforms. Starting today we have just eight weeks left before Election Day. As you embark upon the home stretch of your campaign, here are the Top 5 Tasks for Winning a Fall Campaign to help you focus on achieving victory on November 6th:

  1. Maintain a Strong Message

    Between now and November remember that the top issue on the minds of voters is still JOBS. Survey research shows that the number one factor voters are basing their decision on is “which candidate will most aggressively work to improve my life?” What will you do to help create jobs in your community? To help guide you, GOPAC has developed a platform on the important issues related to job creation, called Six Goals to Create Jobs and Opportunity. As you campaign over the next eight weeks, highlight what you are doing to achieve these goals and why your opponent has the wrong ideas. Visit small businesses and talk to them about the challenges they face and how you can best help them create new jobs. Like most Democrats, your opponent will do all they can to make this election about anything but jobs. Remember to stay on message.

  2. Continue to Raise Money

    While the bulk of your fundraising was executed in the summer months, make sure to continue dedicating some of your time to raising money to meet your fundraising goals (about 35-50% of your time.) Build it into your daily schedule. Don’t forget that in order to advertise in the final days leading up to the election, you must plan ahead financially. Winning in November depends on the advertisements bought in October, which in turn depend on money received in September. Remember, one-on-one, personal solicitation is the most cost-effective way to raise money in a relatively short period of time.

  3. Include All of Your Constituents

    We live in a large, diverse country. In order to win elections, and most importantly, in order to fully represent our constituents, we must appeal to all segments of our electorate. This means not only Republicans, but Independents, youth, women, minorities, and all of the individuals who live in our districts. Make sure you’re including everyone in your campaign, both as a part of your team and on the receiving end of your positive campaign message.

  4. Target Early Voters and Absentees

    As many as 10%-25% of voters cast their ballots early, either by mail or in person. Tailor your campaign to impact those voters before they vote, not after. Understand the law and deadlines ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly. Know whether or not state law allows you to include campaign material in the absentee ballot solicitation, which forms can be circulated to voters by your campaign, what information must be provided on the forms, and other important details. Encourage your base to vote early so you can free up valuable time and resources needed for targeting undecided and leaning voters before Election Day. Your local or state elections office should make available updated lists of voters who have requested ballots and when their ballots were mailed. Chase absentee ballots once they drop in the mail with a phone call or door knock encouraging voters to return their ballots.

  5. Get-Out-The-Vote

    Direct voter contact is the most effective way to identify, persuade, and turn out favorable voters to the polls. The time and effort you have spent going door to door and making phone calls comes down to who turns out on Election Day. In the 72 hours leading up to November 6, it’s all about GOTV. Recruit and organize volunteers ahead of time, and fill shifts for door to door, phone calls, driving voters to the polls, and poll watching. Equip volunteers with needed resources such as walk sheets, call sheets, scripts, maps, and literature. A well run GOTV operation can add as much as 2% to 5% to your campaign’s overall vote total. For more information on GOTV, click here.

You and your campaign team have spent much time and energy this year to win in November and have the opportunity to serve the people of your state. In these finals weeks of the campaign, stay focused on that goal and use these Top 5 Tasks to guide you. We look forward to working together between now and November 6th to elect you and the next generation of Republican leaders to office.