So You Want To Win an Election?

It’s fair to say that the Republican Party is losing members on a regular basis as their popularity plummets over their “conservative values” of voter suppression, misogyny, racism, bigotry, homophobia, lack of compromise, anti-working class, anti-social safety net, pro 1%, pro corporate agenda that has stalled our economy, disenfranchised US citizens from the polls, taken food stamps away from children, elderly, impoverished and veterans, and has cut off long-term unemployment while also not lifting a finger to help create or maintain jobs in this country.

The majority of American people are fed up with them. So many leave to become “independents” while a few actually become Democrats. However it is also true, but to a lesser effect, that the Democratic Party is also losing membership.

Today there are 55 million registered Republicans, 72 million registered Democrats and 42 million Independents. However that only totals 169 million of over 300 million Americans.

Put another way, as of today 24% of nation identifies themselves as Republican, 29% as Democrat and 45% as Independent with 40% leaning GOP and 45% Democrat.

In November 2010 the breakdown was 26% GOP, 31% Democrat and 41% Independent with 44% leaning GOP and 47% leaning DNC (the year the GOP actually swept the nation in wins).

In November 2012 (the last general) 28% identified with the GOP, 33% with the DNC 38% independent with 40% leaning GOP and 50% leaning DNC, the year the Democrats took gains.

So even though historically the Democrats have the upper hand in numbers and those leaning their way, the GOP is always in the race and sometimes even wins.

It’s easy to say you will vote out the GOP but many still want something to vote for or they may just stay home instead. As we know, Republicans, even disenfranchised ones still vote. With lower voter turnout, the GOP wins as Paul Weyrich pointed out.

To get the Democrats, the Independents and others to vote for a Democratic Candidate in any election, whether it is national or local, you need to give them something to vote for. Simply saying the GOP is bad so vote for me is not enough.

You need to seek out what’s important to the voters locally and nationally. Not only do you have to express your concerns over what concerns the voter, you need to offer a plan they will accept. Otherwise, why should they go to the effort to vote for you in any primary or general election?

On January 22nd I sent out a request on my Twitter feed for responses to what were the key issues people are concerned about for 2014. I asked them to tweet or direct message me what their top concerns were. I actually received more responses than I thought I would get.

I was presented with 15 items. Many of them relate in one way or another to each other, some were unique. Of interest, most responded with what I hesitate to call “women’s issues” because I think they are shared by all, they just mainly impact women. This really isn’t surprising considering 50.8% of our country are women. Of note is that in November 2012:

65.1% of males were registered while 54.4% voted compared to 67.0% of women being registered while 58.5% of them voted.

So more women register and more are likely to vote. That would seem to indicate that what’s important to women is important to consider when trying to get people to not only vote, but to vote for you.

So what were the issues identified? In order of the most responses:

Equal Pay for Equal Work

War on Women/Women’s Rights

Minimum Wage increase

Abortion Rights

Gun Control

Removing all Republicans

Climate Change

Environmental Concerns

Medicaid Expansion

Voting Rights

Healthcare expansion

Campaign Finance Reform

Overturning Citizens United

Education Costs

Legalize Marijuana

Justice System Reform

Now of course this was completely unscientific, but consider; people took the time to read an obscure Twitter feed and responded what was utmost in their minds at the time. They took the time to be heard. Also, if you look at national polling, much of this does coincide with professional pollsters.

Here’s a breakdown of what the professional have said, note the economy is still number one. It would appear it is still true, “It’s the economy stupid”:

Americans claim they are conservatives, but polling has shown that the term “progressive” remains more popular than the term “conservative.” Further, from reading the professional poll results and my unscientific sampling of my followers, progressive issues appear to win out over conservative ones.

So what does this tell a party and candidate who want people to go to the effort to not only vote but vote for them?

Express a clear position of these issues with a plan. Don’t worry if by taking the view you will be labeled a “liberal, socialist, commie, Muslim whatever.”

The fact is these are the concerns most Americans have. Let the right turn your position against you, the fact of the matter is those who feel the way you do will now have reason to vote for you. Not only because you share their views, you were brave enough to loudly and confidently take a position on them and expressed a plan.

It’s human nature to flock to and support those who identify themselves as leaders. You want to win, take control of the narrative, express your views and lead. This more than anything else will get you elected. Of course once you take office, follow through on your promise or say goodbye at term’s end.

I note that I do appear to have a few local and national candidates following me on Twitter. I’m honored, I hope you take this into consideration, meet with your brain trust and see if this will help you. I think your advisers would agree though, you must take control of the narrative, don’t let the GOP do it for you.