Why Do People Run For Office?

There are many reasons people choose to run for public office. Some of these are altruistic and based on a desire to genuinely make a difference while others are entirely ego-driven. All candidates should have a 25 word "I'm running because..." that articulates their public reasons for running. This is carefully crafted and is usually not the real reason a candidate is running. So why do people run?

What Happens If You Lose Your Campaign?

Most candidates run to win. However, unless you run a technically flawless campaign your odds are slim. 95% of incumbents get re-elected. Even good challengers sometimes lose, but the ones who make the simple mistakes stand no chance. While most candidates want to win the race they're running for, there are a number of times where a candidate will run in an unwinnable race.

Early Money: Pick The Low Hanging Fruit First

When starting your fundraising operations you want to pick the “low hanging fruit” first. This means finding and targeting the people most likely to give you money with the least amount of effort. Friends, family, co-workers are your best targets. These people know you personally and presumably like you. While many will say “no,” this group has the highest probability of saying “yes” and should be the first phone calls you make to raise money.

Proving Viability: Winning Over The Skeptics

After you decide to run, you have to convince everyone that you are a viable candidate to win the election. Friends and family must be convinced if they are going to give you their hard earned money. Volunteers and activists must be convinced if they are going to give you their valuable time. Party officials must be convinced so that they do not work against you.

Volunteers: Your Greatest Resource

Volunteers are the lifeblood of a campaign. They freely give of their time to help you do often tedious work. Campaigns wouldn’t succeed without them. Whether it is the little old lady stuffing envelopes and making calls or the 14 year old doing data entry, there needs to be a place on your campaign for EVERY PERSON who wants to help you. Everyone should have a role that caters to their skills, interests and expertise.

What Skills Make A Candidate Special?

A famous political consultant used to say “In a tsunami, a lot of shit gets washed up on shore.” After meeting Members of Congress one often scratches their head as to how in the hell they got elected in the first place. The reality is that no matter how awful a candidate is, if they have certain skills they can increase their chances of success exponentially.

Self Research: What Could Make You Look Bad?

Too many candidates fail because they have issues in their background that they don’t disclose soon enough. Campaign staff hate it when you are months into a campaign and negative information on you surfaces that they didn’t know about. Everyone is forced to scramble and do crisis management, you get sidetracked. In reality, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.

Are You Running For The Right Office?

Many candidates decide to jump into a race without assessing their prospects. They see an opening and dive in head first. These are usually the candidates driven by ego who want to see their name in the paper, and these candidates usually fail. With this in mind, here are a few questions to help you decide if you are running for the right office or at the right time.