Is the Timing Right? Knowing When to Start a Political Campaign

Depending what office you’re running for and where you live, people start campaigning at various different times. The more popular you are, the more likely you’ll be voted for, so you’ll need to get your name out there. When you run for office, it’s likely you’ll be running against big names in the community who have lots of connections, especially if you’re young. Instead of feeling discouraged, here are some tactics you can use that will help you win the election!

Start a year in advance

The sooner you begin a political campaign, the better chance you have of winning your race. Start far enough ahead that you can get your name out there and use many different strategies for your campaign. Even though you have months ahead of you, avoid taking time off! As a first-time candidate, starting to campaign a year before your competition is the best way to blow them out of the water and overcome the odds, even if you’re running against well-known incumbents. Every moment is a chance for you to get the votes you need in order to increase your chances of success.

Have your campaign planned out

Starting a year ahead of time doesn’t mean planning your campaign then. Have everything planned out far in advance so you can easily implement your strategies. Here are various articles that have advice about running a political campaign. Give yourself plenty of time to sit down and do research on how to run an effective campaign and gather a team of trusted and committed people behind you for your campaign, then get started.

A few strategies to include are:

  • Forming relationships with potential supporters before you ask them for help
  • Creating an online presence (social media) to ensure viewership/candidate awareness
  • Establish a campaign bank account for marketing efforts, fundraising, advertisements, etc.

Start with door-to-door

Now, once you have a plan and a team for your campaign, you can finally start campaigning. One of the best tactics you can use, especially in a local election, is going door-to-door and talking with the people in the community. Make sure you have literature you can give them that gives information about your campaign. By starting a year ahead of time and not taking time off, you’ll likely stop at the same houses multiple times. The more you talk to people, the better they’ll remember you and when it comes to election day, you’ll be the name they connect with on the ballot.

Work on fundraising

Depending on the scale of your campaign, you might need to fundraise money. Don’t be shy about asking people for it. They can easily say no; that’s their right. Make plenty of phone calls to people you know and local businesses, and then start calling local numbers. Have a set speech to make that is short and conveys your goals. You can even hold a few fundraising events throughout the community.