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You obviously know your district very well and know what the issues are, but it strikes me from reading your CV and policy stance that you are appealing to voters almost entirely on economic issues. Whilst this will motivate many to vote for you I suspect your GOP opponent will probably also seek support on social wedge issues, reduced taxation, anti big Government, and even fundamentalist religion type issues.

Voting for most is an emotional as well as a rational/functional decision and many voters want to feel their representative is "one of them" and understands their fears and concerns regardless of the fact that, in practice, a local rep. doesn't have any role in many of such matters. You are representing/embodying their values as well as promising to do a competent job representing their economic interests.

I'm not suggesting you try to compete with your opponent on their turf, but that you fill out your CV a bit more to enable more voters to identify with you on a wider range of emotional levels as well as on the economic issues.

You may also wish to micro-target your message to focus on the different issues that are of most concern in different parts of your district.

Ask yourself the question: why would seniors vote for me? Why women, young people, unemployed, union members, minorities, free market business types etc. etc. and see if you can put in a positive message or hook that would attract many in each group.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 09:30:10 AM EST
My ads will be tailored somewhat to the locale of the several newspapers. There will be more about agricultural and renewable energy in Klickitat County; more about forests and local, organic food production in Skamania County; and more about CAFOs, affordable housing, and urban issues (gangs and schools) in Yakima.

The personal aspects do emerge to a degree in the 'town halls' and similar fora. Being 67, I have a lot of stories to share from the 'old days'.

You probably don't know that WA passed a full-spectrum marriage act this past year. The incumbent did himself no favors with his Republican Party base by voting for it. Essentially, we hold the same position there, so he has neutralized that issue. We have a full-blown marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot this year. If asked, I will support it, but that's not a hot issue as far as I can tell. Most people that I know - from a wide spectrum of political philosophies - think that marijuana proscription has been an expensive waste of energy and lives.

Both my opponent and I are strong on education and women's issues, so, again, no advantage. I do intend to target youth, which, I admit, can be daunting for me. I find them very wary of old folks. Can't blame them really, but it makes connection difficult. I'm trying, though.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 11:53:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any mainstream online media presence? You tube video? Facebook campaign page. Twitter campaign? Wikipedia entry? Places where prominent people can endorse/donate/support you? Know any celebs? Got any pictures/videos of you doing interesting things or with well known people? (Brand recognition is about connecting with already known brands).

Does humour work in Washington - or at least get people talking about you? Think of a few zany angles that will provoke interest rather than be off putting.  If you are paying for newspaper ads, the least they can do is interview/profile you.

In general people will vote for someone they know something about - anything - rather than someone they know nothing about.  What's your name recognition compared to your incumbent opponent? It can come down to something as trivial as that.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:30:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PS I have googled you a bit and the only online presence I can find is on truly awfully wonkish sites that only committed political activists and technical specialist will read. You badly need your own website with lots of colour, family photographs, videos of you giving presentations, favourable news coverage, and opportunities for voters to engage with you via comments/email etc. Talk over videos of your locality showing you understand the issues people face in their daily lives. Include footage of popular or well known local personalities engaging with you. You have to SHOW you understand, not just include abstract references in dusty policy statements.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 12:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will try to do better.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 08:36:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that we are building pages on several Dem-Party-linked sites.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 08:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which may help consolidate support from already committed Dem supporters and thus be of very marginal benefit at best.

What you need to appeal to uncommitted voters is a presence on apparently unaligned or "non-political" sites singing your praises - facebook pages etc. Local community sites, a personal campaign site emphasising your personal qualities and community ties rather than your political identification.

Committed Dems will vote for you because your a Dem. Everyone else will vote for or against you because of how you present yourself to them as a person  - and a strong party identification may even be a negative for them.

You are a multi-dimensional person, not a party apparatchik. You have to appeal to a multitude of different people on a variety of different levels. Only a small minority of people will vote for you on purely ideological grounds, and only a few more on perceived competence.

The swing vote is typically composed of low information voters who are looking for some hook or symbol by which they can differentiate between two candidates they know little or nothing about  - and who will then promptly forget about their choice and get on with their daily lives far removed from any consideration of politics

You have to give them some reason to vote for you in that one glimmer of consciousness when they are actually deciding how to cast their vote.  So they have to have some positive association with you:

  1. Name recognition
  2. Local/community identification
  3. Professional respect for what you have accomplished
  4. Some belief in the more positive future you are depicting/promising
  5. positive, warm, sunny emotional feeling/vibes about you (are you someone they would like as a colleague, neighbour, grandfather, community representative)
  6. Association with other things they feel positively about
  7. Party political/issues identification - comes about last in the list for swing voters.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 at 09:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paul spencer:
You probably don't know that WA passed a full-spectrum marriage act this past year. The incumbent did himself no favors with his Republican Party base by voting for it. Essentially, we hold the same position there, so he has neutralized that issue.

Absolutely NOT!

Talk lots about your support for Gay Marriage. Your base will support you but by highlighting the issue you will further alienate him from his base. He's the one who shouldn't be talking about it!

(Unless political hardball isn't your style, of course)

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:42:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... advertise applauding your opponent for his support for marriage equality, state that marriage equality should not be a partisan issue, and that the religious freedom of churches who recognize same sex marriages to perform same sex marriages should be respected by all.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 11:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was going to wait for it to come up in candidates' fora, but I will take your suggestion and advertise it.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 08:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You probably don't know that WA passed a full-spectrum marriage act this past year.

There is a voter referendum coming up on that, right ?

So the topic will become important in the elections ?

Btw, I'll be in WA end of July, what election events are planned for that timeframe for me to
attend 8-) ?

Now what ?

by pi (etrib@opsec.eu) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 04:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"We" being the several Dem candidates that overlap or interface in our districts.

I will let you know. Looks like you have a straightforward e-mail address here.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Jun 8th, 2012 at 08:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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