Whether your goal is to run for city council
or governor, a well-organized political
campaign is important for success.
Moreover, one of the most demanding
activities possible consists of running a
political campaign. A lot of hard work and
pressure is at stake, as a candidate either
wins or loses on Election Day. Although
nothing can eliminate the stress and
uneasiness of Election Day, having an
effective strategy to run a campaign for
political office can help reduce some of the
1. Define your campaign goal. Know what
policy issues are important to you and
voters. For example, if you are
campaigning to be a state legislator in a
rural area, land and water rights would
likely be pertinent issues. Focus groups
can provide helpful feedback on what
issues might be of concern to
constituents. Also, focus groups allow
you to have direct interaction with voters.
2. Hire appropriate staff. Hire a campaign
manager with experience in running a
political campaign. Likely, a campaign
manager has found effective strategies to
run a political campaign and knows
tactics to win an election. Consider hiring
campaign assistants who can contribute
to the campaign until volunteers join.
3. Build a coalition. Gain political campaign
support from local union workers, faith-
based organizations, minorities, parents,
teachers, students, public health groups,
community groups and environmental
groups. Involve yourself in local party
politics to become familiar with others in
office and their constituents. Coalitions
can help support you and win votes.
Grassroots organizations can result in a
4. Create a fundraising plan. Ask for
volunteers and donations using door-to-
door literature, word of mouth or a letter
or e-mail message. Work with your state
Republican Party or Democratic offices to
find volunteers who affiliate with the
same political party as you.
5. Educate voters on your proposed policies
and why you would make the best
candidate. Distribute literature so voters
know what issues you support. Distribute
fliers and lawn signs to make voters
aware of your presence in the political
race. Work with the media, as it can be a
powerful tool in conveying your message
to voters through newspaper articles,
billboard signs or radio and television
interviews and advertisements.
6. Stay in touch with voters. Attend
community events and greet people in
informal settings, such as malls or
grocery stores, to interact with voters.
Remember names and information.
Voters want to see you as a genuine
person, not as a stiff politician who is out
of touch with voters.
7. Celebrate victories. Recognize donations
and efforts made by volunteers and staff
members. Although a political campaign
is demanding, it should be fun. Any
achieved interim goals should be
Tips & Warnings
Oftentimes, one must experience defeat
before victory. For example, Richard
Nixon experienced defeat for president
of the United States in 1960 and for
governor of California in 1962 until he
was elected as president of the United
States in 1968.
The White House: Richard M. Nixon