Should you start off on your right foot or your left?

Here's a good divergence in political opinion to discuss:

With regards to multi-town voting districts, I typically tell candidates that when they go door-to-door (as it says you should in any good campaign manuals) that they should make sure they start in the most populous area. I do that based on the thesis that you stand a better chance on completing it if you start there first.

In other words, it's the "Willie Sutton" move - go where the voters are and campaign. If you start in the most populous area, you're likely to spend the most time there because you need to. And you're likely to be noticed since it is the most populous area.

Now a couple of my elected official friends disagree. They say, "not so fast, PP." Their opinion is that a candidate should start where they are the strongest, regardless of size. They say that's because even thought you might be spending a lot of time in an area that doesn't have as many votes, you're going to gain confidence and early momentum that you can take to a larger town, or will spill over as your fame grows.

I can't fault them for their logic, because they've both won competitive races, But I can't get past the belief that because you have limited resources (money and TIME) you have to spend them to where you stand to gain the greatest benefit.

What do you think? Early momentum or maximum exposure?


Anonymous said…
You're right PP, maximum exposure is more important. You may run out of time. "Gaining confidence" and "building momentum" are mostly psychobabble. You should get the most satisfaction, and results,out of meeting the greatest number of people possible in a day. Don't waste time "preaching to the choir".
Anonymous said…
Maximum exposure, without a doubt. In a multicounty legislative district you need to get out and about. If it is going to take you several days to do a town don't do it on consecutive days. Work all one day then come back in a few weeks to finish up. That way your exposure is spread out and it will seem to people that you are everywhere. Have a BIG sign with your name on your vehicle and park it on a busy street while you go door to door.

It worked for me two out of three times. Unfortunately, for me, while two wins in three games is good enough to win the American League pennant it's not good enough to win a seat in the South Dakota Senate.
Anonymous said…
I also like the "bang for buck" or "dollars per vote" "vote per campaign hour" etc...

Sparsity is hard on a door to door effort,,,,max exposure

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