No kidding, right? But there are two big problems with the debate to talk about in this weekend’s post at Communities Digital News.
In reality, fitting a giant candidate field into an hour long debate is a square peg-round hole problem. The networks, sponsors, and even the Republican party are trying to figure out how to handle a historically large field using the same promotion vehicles they used when only a handful of people could afford to mount a primary campaign.
It may not happen every single cycle, but it will happen again. Networks need to use the 2016 primary season to figure out how to handle it.
A campaign in support of same sex marriage used in-person conversations and personal stories – and it measurably changed opinions. Sounds legit, right? Well, it turned out the whole thing was fake.
The most sophisticated campaigns usually don’t bother trying to change voters’ minds on issues. Moving opinions, especially on deeply-held beliefs, seemed to happen over much longer periods of time and include forces outside politics. Candidates deal with the realities of their electorate. In many ways, a campaign doesn’t convince voters to agree with the candidate, but that the candidate agrees with them — and downplays the areas of disagreement… LaCour and Green’s study turned this model on its head — until other researchers determined that the original survey data had been fabricated.
Read more in this week’s post at Communities Digital News.
Last night, the good folks on Critical Conversations had me back to join in their discussion about all things voting.
One of the topics we got to was mandatory voting, which I said was a bad idea in my column this week ar Communities Digital News. It might drive up turnout numbers, but it won’t address the reasons why so many people don’t bother to show up on Election Day. The discussion actually reminded me of student government elections back at UMass, where people frequently won seats with a single write-in vote. Contested races where people cared enough to advertise and ask for votes had better turnout.
The same principles apply to down-ballot races for municipal and state offices. People don’t vote if they don’t care, and it’s the job of candidates and parties to convince them to care.
If you want higher turnout, we need better campaigns.
Some would tell you that the larger, more diverse electorate that shows up in a Presidential year means Republicans are marching toward disappointment in 2016. Not so. In my new piece at Communities Digital News, I discuss how data-driven campaigning delivered most of the really close races of 2014 to the GOP – and how that sets them up for future success.
Sure, 2014 was a wave election – but that shouldn’t detract from smart Republican campaigns that put themselves in position to take advantage. There’s a difference between riding a wave and surfing.
Democrats face an uphill battle this November. Both the messaging environment and the electoral map favor Republican gains. Republicans face a similarly challenging map in 2016, defending 24 Senate seats. My latest piece at Communities Digital News explores how, for each party, the results that come in on November 4 will not be the final verdict on their 2014 strategies.