The goal is winning governing majorities in governments at all levels. The larger the office and thus the larger the campaign, the larger number of people, talents, and funding is required for success. Shoestring campaigns do win, but as more of the MAGA crowd gets serious about participating in politics, expect leftists to work harder to squash any low-budget campaigns that arise.
Here is a rough approximation of the combined number of staff and mostly volunteers that can typically be needed:
- Local and regional (smaller cities, villages, counties and townships, boards such as school and park district: DOZENS.
- State legislative or larger cities: HUNDREDS.
- Big cities, congressional and statewide: THOUSANDS.
- National: MILLIONS.
What work has to get done? Again, it all depends on the size of the voting district, but here’s a good portion of what has to be accomplished (not listed in any order):
A campaign committee and campaign account will have to be formed—and legal consultation is helpful. Fundraising (this can be quite an involved process even for small campaigns when they are up against government union-funded candidates). Issues research and policy development/proposals. Opposition research. A campaign plan is required: what is the messaging to all demographics, and what methods will be utilized to reach their eyes and ears. Candidate recruitment and training. Campaign staff recruitment and training. Volunteer recruitment and training. People to pass petitions to get the candidate on the ballot. People to help with campaign signs and the preparation of other campaign materials.
Candidates should work with the Republican Party to the fullest extent possible—unfortunately, GOP organizations vary in their usefulness. Thus, candidates need to take a direct interest in and responsibility for seeing to it that Republican election judges and poll watchers are recruited and trained for each voting precinct on election day. There also needs to be oversight of the early voting—the number places people can vote continues to grow. There has to be oversight of election day and post-election vote counting especially these days when (especially in states like Illinois), ballots continue to be “discovered” until the Democrat wins. Election law trained lawyers are crucial to this process.
Before voting begins, an effective voter data program is needed—and ideally the work is done to insure that the voter rolls are not heavily populated with the dead, people who have moved out of the district, or the various kinds of make-believe voters that leftists conjure up. Voter registration, early voting and absentee ballot drives are fundamental, as are coordinated election day get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.
Door to door campaigning continues to be effective, which is usually a mix of literature drops (placing campaign fliers on door knobs) and door knocking (door knockers should be properly trained). And then of course there is a need for media outreach efforts seeking local press coverage; social media operations are critical; event and other campaign activities planning involves real work; and the set up and management of a website requires skilled personnel.
This list of work is not comprehensive but it is daunting and it often deters good people from running for office. We would get a lot more good candidates if the Republican Conservative Industrial Complex and the Republican Party at all levels was actually dedicated to helping to accomplish all this work (but they are not).
Instead, Republicans and conservatives (and this includes the MAGA movement) confuse many types of activities with actual election work. Among those activities are listening to talk radio and podcasts, reading commentary and conservative news articles, following key people on social media, attending meetings and rallies and protests and marches and parades and conferences.
They all can be informative, and there are events that serve as good networking venues. Rarely does any of it lead directly to real election work getting done.
The Ground War ongoing series of articles can be found here.
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