What is the best tip you can give to a "new" candidate?
corneo asked on Jul 16, 2013, 1:18 pm

What is the best tip you can give to a person who has never ran for any office, has little to no knowledge of politics.

I would suggest to show your leadership ability by past actions.

Accomplish something that the public can relate to. Be a past President of a club, organization, political action committee, business owner of working business. Make sure whatever you did was positive.

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Last Modified: Sep 14, 2013, 10:33 am       Report this question
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amakaram says on Jul 16, 2013, 8:49 pm:

I think that the most important tip for any candidate is to develop equal or better name recognition to that of your opponent. The unfortunate truth is and studies have shown that the vast majority (85%) of those who vote (I'll refer to them as the "uneducated" voter) know only one thing about the candidate that they choose ... their name. If your name recognition is not equal to or greater than your opponent, you are at an immediate disadvantage and will likely lose.

Corneo's suggestions are all great and all contribute to the development of name recognition with another important group that I will refer to as the "educated voter." By that I mean, the minority of voters (15%) who actually know more than the candidate's name and are educated about the kinds of things that Corneo refers to. This is also a very important group to secure support from.

Blanket the neighborhood with yard signs and use the media as you are able to develop the name recognition needed to win your share of the uneducated voters. Then use Corneo's suggestions to win more than your share of the educated voters. To me, this is the best of both worlds.
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corneo says on Jul 17, 2013, 1:13 am:

(I have the hopes of a lot of replies on this subject)

Continuing with the "uneducated" voter stated by amakaram, is new politicians need to remember the "K.I.S.S." rule. Which is an anagram for "Keep It Simple Stupid."

Something that happen to me once in a public speech that I quickly corrected was, I made the statement "This government seems to have a lackadaisical attitude." After making this statement I saw the public crowd respond with blank stares. So I changed the statement to: "This government seems to not care."

The point I am driving at is your speeches and wording need to be at a 3rd to 5th grade level. ~or~ use commons words spoken in the area you are in.
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jb5358 says on Aug 1, 2013, 9:48 pm:

1. Hire a trusted Campaign Manager to run the campaign. You are the Candidate -- your main job is fundraising and meeting voters.

2. Knock on doors! Your Campaign Manager should give you a targeted list of voters -- go meet them, talk and listen, and leave a brochure! People will remember you as a "real person". And it's free!

3. Treat volunteers as well as you treat your financial donors. Thank them often.
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kevintgarner says on Aug 2, 2013, 6:13 am:

A candidate should select a campaign manager who has experience and an understanding of your landscape. This must be a person you listen to; remember she/he is the expert at politics; you raise money/meet voters. Depending on the level of the race, this person should not expect to be paid a great deal or at all at first in order for you to fundraise and develop your message.

Once you have developed the campaign's theme and issues, then you can start campaigning. Do not start before this step because every conversation you have with one voter or a large group should always come back to the theme...you want people to remember your name and one way is to attach it to a consistent theme.

If there is a risk of a primary, you need to target your party's central committees, elected officials, groups, etc. Then you do the things mentioned above, knock doors and raise money. Hope that helps.
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gregoryswilson says on Aug 10, 2013, 10:23 am:

The advice given here so far is all good. I'll expand on Kevin's advice and add to the list a little test I give every prospective candidate and insist that every client master.

I ask them to tell me why they are running for office.

Too often, five minutes later, they're still explaining themselves...unconvincingly.

In any campaign, you must get this right: you must be authentic, convincing, succinct and compelling; you must integrate your campaign message into everything you say, publish, post or broadcast; and everything you say must support "your brand."

Oh yeah, and you must be able to answer my question convincingly in less than a minute.

So while everyone's advice here, so far, is correct and constructive, I'll respectfully suggest that my advice be somewhere near the top of the list.

PS Good point about the name ID, amakaram, but you'll find that yard signs are often dismissed by political consultants. That's a subject for a Question all by itself.
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bendonahower says on Aug 15, 2013, 3:30 pm:

Knock on targeted voters' doors.

That's it!
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greendogdemo says on Sep 14, 2013, 10:33 am:

I'll differ a little from some of my colleagues. The best advice I can give a new candidate is to raise money. Seriously, be able to self-fund to a certain extent and know you can raise the money to get your message out to voters.

Obviously you must have a message. What is the burning issue in your race? A good consultant will help you market that message to voters, but you need to be able to pay the postage. Good direct m ail is still the single most important delivery system. knocking on doors if the district is small enough, with some strong volunteer help, phone banking and, if the District is larger, or the issue is truly burning, look to TV and radio. Cable is inexpensive.

But number one, be able to get the dough. Have a message, and a good consultant. Then you will be a viable candidate.
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