We lost the first election I ever helped in because we didn’t give it everything. I can’t remember what the financial balance was when the polls closed, but I know we metaphorically had “something left in the tank” individually. We could have touched a few more voters. And because we didn’t leave everything on the field, we lost by 12 votes.
Whether it’s financial or individual energy, anything left in the tank when the polls close is wasted.
Now, I’m not advocating fiscal irresponsibility. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ve got this wrapped up, I can understand holding back some funds and not just blowing it on another mailer. These are exceptions to the rule and outside what most people will face.
My point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to spend what you’ve got and give every ounce of effort, right up until the last votes are cast. Win or lose, you want to KNOW that you did everything. Any effort not used will be repurposed to self-flagellation if you lose. And all the money remaining will just get reimbursed to donors.
If victory is at all in doubt, never leave an ounce in the tank.
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I hope y’all are doing well and had a great Easter and Passover. I got to spend some time down with my family at the ranch polishing my shooting skills, catching some fish and eating plenty of my mom’s fine cooking. Plus my little man Stoney just hit six months old and we had plenty of grandparents and great-grandparents at the ranch to spoil him. It was great!
It’s good to be back with y’all and a new interview though! This week we’re talking to Steve Beren, owner of One Spark Marketing of Washington State. He’s been working in the political consulting field for a number of years, has run for office himself and is a long time activist in the Washington State GOP. The really interesting part though is that through the first several decades of his life, Steve was a radical leftist activist. He was a union activist, leftist infiltrator, socialist and antiwar radical. That’s hardly the avatar of someone you’d figure would become a conservative, let alone a successful Republican consultant later in his life.
Steve’s conversion story and his advice on what he calls “the Holy Trinity of Political Campaigns” is fantastic and I think y’all will enjoy our conversation.
This quote comes from Winston Churchill, one of the 20th Century’s greatest statesmen and a personal hero of mine. He made an art of turning phrases and this is among my favorites.
In describing one of his contemporaries, Churchill made a caricature of him. A combination of absurdity, violence and discomfort that comes to mind. It’s an apt representation of what happens to a person when they allow these facets of themselves to lose harmony.
Examine yourself regularly to see whether your conscience and career motives are working together or if you’re nearing squirrel fight territory. You should subordinate your political and career motivations to your conscience. Do what you know is right, even when you may not see how it can help your career.
Never allow yourself to embody this caricature. Only you can ensure that you don’t.
This tip applies broadly to your website, social media and anywhere online. In any campaign, you are appealing to various constituencies which overlap to a greater or lesser degree. If you find yourself appealing loudly to one group, you may tick off another.
The idea here isn’t to be disingenuous or to pander. Rather, be careful about what you say and how you say it. Know that there’s somebody on the other team seeing all the material you put out. If it can be used against you, it will be.
Write your content for your idea support base at large and be careful that you don’t hand ammo to your opponents in the process. Factual inaccuracies, grammatical errors, contradictory positions and more have been found by opponents in campaign materials and used against them.