Candidates need phone banking and doorbelling, not more forums!

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Submitted by a reader

Although it may be fun to sponsor candidate forums and debates, maybe even raising a little money for your organization in the process, it is hurting candidates running for office. Not only does it cost them money (for the luncheon, the booth, etc.), but it is taking up an immense number of manpower hours that could be better spent reaching new voters.

With the advent of the Tea Parties, plus Clean Elections debates, there are twice as many of these kinds of forums this year. Candidates are attending these forums virtually every week, seeing the same Republican activists at each forum, preaching to each others’ campaign staffs. Very few new voters are actually reached, particularly the all-important independent voters who will determine this election. But if a candidate misses one of these numerous forums, they are criticized for not caring about the race enough to show up – unfair if they’ve made several of the other forums, and especially unfair if they have participated in actual debates.

Let’s do the math for an average forum: 25 candidates show up, each brings two people with them (the most insecure candidates will show up with posses of 10-20 volunteers). 75 people attend to watch. The entire thing takes around four hours. How many campaign hours have been wasted? 25 (candidates) x 3 (their extra volunteers) = 75 + 75 (attendees) = 150 (total people) x 4 (hours) = 600 total hours wasted that could have been spent phone banking or knocking on doors reaching new undecided voters.

Please spread the word – if you run an organization, Legislative District, or Tea Party that wants to get involved in this year’s election, arrange to help candidates with phone banking or doorbelling, not setting up meetings and candidate forums. The Democrats have this figured out and are skipping meetings and going straight to doorbelling. They finally got something right, let’s not let them beat us here.

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  1. Amen! The number of CD3 candidate forums is plain nuts. Don’t see how those candidates get ANYTHING done, every week there is another forum. Strikes me as pure selfishness that groups are organizing these forums, they get the press and glory for putting on the forum without any of the actual hard volunteer work of making phone calls and walking precincts.

  2. Bravo!

  3. Stephen Kohut says

    In contested primaries the candidate has to sell themselves as the best choice of those running that reflects the opinion of the PC/voter/activist. How does that happen? Not by crap in the mail, not by MSM advertising, not by sticking signs in the ground. It happens by getting in front of us in debate or open discussion settings to get vetted.

    As a PC, there are a number of contested races that I have not made a final decision in. If you want my vote, if you want me to recommend you to the people of my precinct when I walk it to GOTV, if you want me to help recruit volunteers for your campaign, you have to convince me that you are the best choice of what is running. If you do not take the time to be available to me or my voters you will not get my endorsement or help. Of the 9 candidates running in the CD1 primary 3 have made themselves available in my area. Why should any of the 6 no show expect anything?

    Do we need to gear up for GOTV, door knocking, phone banks? Yes but only after we have the info needed to make a selction. No local contact means no support in my book.

  4. AMEN! I am a PC and involved in the Tea Party movement and I’ve been talking about this for some time. How many rallies do the Tea Party groups need? How effective are they? How many forums do we need? The above article is right on! There have been so many forums that if you don’t know who you are going to support then you just aren’t paying attention.

    How effective is it to have hundreds if not thousands of like minded people, come together to listen to other like minded people? We walk away “feeling good” and usually somewhat inspired but how is that moving our cause along?

    Early voting begins in just a few weeks. In many districts races will be decided with the early voters. I would like to see ALL the Tea Party Groups and LD’s start to sponsor “Candidate Saturdays” where PCs and tea party members are encouraged to go help a campaign. By now PCs and tea party folks should know at least one if not more candidates that they are supporting.

    How big of a difference would it make if thousands of us were out there, walking and calling voters for our candidates instead of sitting on the lawn at the capitol? There was a time for that but now we need to align our “words” with “actions.”

    Let’s Roll!

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