How the Farm Team Won, or Death to the Standout

There have been a lot of questions about how our farm team members won their races.  It’s pretty simple they followed campaign basics.  Many times our candidates and their campaigns don’t follow simple campaign basics.  Their volunteers believe that if they aren’t standing out on the corner on a Saturday morning for 4 hours then people won’t know who they are.  It is time to put that push marketing practice to bed and follow what candidates in other parts of the country do, identify and turn out voters.  We as a party need to kill the standout.  The candidates the MFYR helped by and large understand that.

The MFYR refused to help any candidate that asked us only to do a standout for them. It was a waste of our and their precious time.  The activities we helped with revolved around voter identification by going door to door, or phone calling.  Mostly by canvassing door to door, where instead of lit dropping we actually knocked on doors and asked if the person was with our candidates.

Rob Willington and Peter Torkildsen at the MassGOP deserve a lot of the credit as well. The MassGOP invested time and resources to helping Municipal Candidates.  It is a fallacy to believe that local races aren’t partisan.  The Democrats don’t think that way and neither should we.  The MassGOP now doesn’t think that way and through multiple Municipal Trainings, giving voter vault access to allow candidates to more easily reach voters.

None of the candidates would have won though if they didn’t work, and to a person they did.  They knocked on countless doors, identified voters, sent targeted direct mail, and had effective GOTV efforts.  Many of these candidates like Greer Tan Swiston and Victor Pap have run for office multiple times before they won. 

When we focus on running real campaigns we can win and do.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

  • wavemaker

    It is certainly true that face-to-face voter i.d. is highly effective, your voter i.d. won’t prove very encouraging if the voter can’t i.d. the candidate.

    While standouts by themselves have a limited usefulness, when combined with other methods of name-awareness, are very useful — and they’re free.

    When I was a relative unknown running for an open rep seat, we did standouts every morning in a rotating number of strategic spots (and this was before it was a common practice too). We’d be exposed to 10,000 cars in two hours. That’s pretty good. When I did door to door later in the day, it was astounding to me (at first) how many people had seen us on the roadside.

    Remember one of the simple rules of local campaigning. The candidate who wins is the one who has had the greatest number of “contacts” with the greatest number of voters. While stand-out is not a high level contact, it counts.

    So, not “death” to the standout — just death to the candidate who relies excessively on the standout.

    Torkie has proven in his career that he knows how to win elections, and I had no doubt that he’d be able to show his effectiveness right away — and he has.

    [and I have no problem with your YR policy re: standouts. You can be much more effective elsewhere]

  • Knightbrigade

    and I have NO reason to doubt Waves experienced opinion.

    “You know the top four reasons someone votes for you in a rep race?

    1. They know you,
    2. They know someone who knows you,
    3. They met you,
    4. They’ve seen/heard your name more than your opponent’s.”
    10. Where you STAND on the ISSUES.

    I’m crying right now…..

  • Ashburnham

    I have only been involved in a few campaigns, but the thing that I have noticed about the way Massachusetts Republican Party people work is that they are always trying to identify voters by making mass numbers of cold calls.

    This is something that volunteers hate to do, and it is often organized very poorly.

    I was a volunteer on Kerry Healey’s campaign, and they brought out phone lists for us to call. We were expected to call these people out of the blue and ask them if they were for our candidate or not.

    We were not told if they were Dems, Independents or Republicans, and we weren’t told whether they were frequent voters or not. Often times when we called, we would be told (before we were hung up on) that someone had already called them and that they felt harrassed.

    Then there are the automated phone calls. If someone messes these up, you could have someone getting a half a dozen automated phone calls and be really pissed off at your client. This past election, in New York state, a democrat candidate’s auto phone call went out to 200 people at 2AM, causing an uproar from those people that got the call.

    I think that going door to door is so much more effective and less OFFENSIVE as well.

    The struggle to identify voters and then somehow get them to come out to vote is an important one, but I would hope that the Massachusett Party could find a better, more organized way to go about it.

    Just my 2 cents.