Getting a voter to the polls on Election Day is a key task for political campaign firms and volunteers. We’ve all seen the canvassing reports that come back from the field. “We got 1,237 doors knocked in Ward 7 and we talked to 10 people who said they would vote for our candidate.” But how many of those people actually followed through and cast a ballot?
In 2012, the Obama campaign’s legendary analytics team used past voting records to score every registered voter in battleground states. Those scores were used by field staff to target their limited resources on those voters who were most likely to vote for Barack Obama. In Ohio, for example, there were nearly 8 million registered voters. But the Obama political campaign strategies were able to whittle that list down to just over 4 million likely voters.
This additional level of voter targeting wasn’t cheap, but with a limited field operation in 2012, it increased turnout in key counties and helped secure an electoral victory for President Obama.
Thus, the main aim of campaigning is to make prospects confident about your candidacy so that they turn out in large numbers on Election Day to vote for you. People will get confident about your candidacy only after talking to you and your campaign. And this is where door-to-door campaigning plays a vital role.
Goals of political campaign firms to create Voter Contact Plan.
- Motivate the voters to support the candidate and his vision for their area and country.
- To bring awareness and educate voters on political issues and policies of the parties, and
- To share the information about the voting process and its importance in a democratic setup.
Voter Contact Strategy
The voter contact plan has to be designed keeping the various political campaign strategies in mind like:
1) Reach out to voters
Reaching out to thousands of voters requires diligent planning. Contact prospect voters through different such as door-to-door campaigns, campaigning through social media, banner campaigns, etc. Personal interaction is key to success. Persuade voters in the right way. Persuasion will help to win a vote as well as take one vote away from your opponent.
The long-term benefit of a good door-to-door campaign plan is that it will motivate your supporters to get out and vote for you on election day. Voters need to personally meet with candidates in order to form an opinion about them. It is important to ensure that the number of voters contacted is more than the actual number of votes polled. You may then consider doing small follow-up actions after the initial contact with voters, such as phone calls and emails.
2) Contacting supporters
After the initial voter contact plan has been completed, it is important to make sure that supporters are reached out to and reminded about a voting day and the polling booths where they need to vote.
3) Reach out using specific mediums
Different types of voter groups will need different types of voter contact plans. Divide the electorates into groups according to their behavior. Understand which group needs what kind of motivation and let political campaign consultants address them separately. Grouping electorates would help in creating a proper plan. For example, reaching out to first-time voters will require you to engage them on social media platforms.
4) Focus on the right group of people
Certain voters already make up their minds about whom they would choose their leader. They are 100% committed to voting for their candidate. Thus, talking to such people is a waste of time and would have no impact on them. Instead, political field organizers should focus on people who need an extra push and will be convinced to support your candidate and turn up for voting.
5) Timing is crucial
When initiating voter contact plans, it’s important to take the timing into consideration. For example, if you are planning a door-to-door campaign in an area that has frequent power cuts, chances are people will not be home. Timing is important as it will help you to choose the most appropriate method of voter contact.
6) Be regular
One complaint that many people have about political campaigns is that they do not follow up on their promises. As a candidate, you need to ensure that your voters know you are working for them and your party. Let them know about the work you are doing by calling, visiting their homes, or through social media platforms. This is a good way to ensure that voters come out in large numbers to vote for you.
7) Make voters feel important
It’s important to keep in mind that most people don’t care about politics until someone they know personally approaches them and speaks with them about the impact of their vote on their lives. Let them feel that their vote is precious. Messages such as “everyone votes” give a feeling that they are wanted. This will result in a large turnout on Election Day.
8) Access to voting
Create an election website and expand access to voting, Expanding access can expand our electorate before Election Day. Create an army of young volunteers and campaign field organizers who will conduct small surveys in the middle of the election period to remind people to vote. Also, make influential people ambassadors for election campaigns. Their motivational speech will encourage people to turn up for voting and support your candidate.
As political campaigns intensify, it becomes increasingly important to make contact with voters in the right way at the right time. An early and impressively-designed voter contact plan will result in higher voter turnout and more votes for your party. Make sure you seek advice from experts at a political consulting firm on how to customize a plan that works for you.