Don’t Forget The Ground Game and Fundamentals

Here are a few paragraphs from radio talk show host Erick Erickson making the point I make often on these pages that waging the information war can’t just be done through the radio, or TV, or through the mail:

Much of what the American press covers in political campaigns is the daily horse race of polling and — every three months — the campaign finance numbers. Many of the people in the press who shape the coverage of American politics have never actually worked on political campaigns, run for office, held office or even worked for elected officials. There is more to politics than the polling and money.

Some of the major national polls of the Republican primary, for example, are actually of less than three hundred voters, consisting of some who have never actually voted before. Likewise, the media is fixated on how much the candidates have raised, but ignores how rapidly the candidates are spending their money and on what things the candidates are purchasing with their money.

This is where the ground game comes in. Television advertising is pretty scatter shot. Radio advertising is a bit more precise because, for example, urban radio listeners tend to be Democrats and talk radio listeners tend to be Republicans. More and more younger voters have gone to Netflix, which does not show commercials; it is difficult to place that 4 percent.

Candidates need ground operations to go door to door to meet voters. Voters who have personally interacted with a campaign at their doorstep are more likely to vote for a candidate than those who just saw a commercial or got a phone call. In the underlying campaign data, it appears that Donald Trump has yet to get a voter file — a file that shows all the voters in a state, their partisan affiliation, and most importantly, which of those voters ever show up to vote in primaries and caucuses.

Read more: The Erick Erickson Show

Image credit: