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Campaign 101: Silver Bullets

I would like to take a brief second to talk about winning campaigns and losing campaigns.

You see, most people think that television advertising is the “silver bullet” of politics. That one great television ad will win an election for a candidate, particularly a primary election. I will use this as an excuse to embed the most badass campaign commercial of all time, which hopefully you have seen already:

So how did Dale Peterson do in the Alabama Agriculture Commissioners race? Third. Why? Well, it probably wasn’t thugs and criminals, but it’s hard to say exactly why he lost. But the point I’m trying to make is that this television commercial, while awesome and earning Peterson a ton of free local and national media, did not vault Peterson to the Republican nomination.

The lesson for candidates here in Maryland is this: never rely on the silver bullet. Some candidates may think that their silver bullet is a TV ad. For others it might be public service endorsements, or a particular volunteer fundraiser , or one of a hundred different things. The fact of the matter is that in local elections, all of these things are required in order to win; personal contact, dedicated volunteers, fundraising, community support, and yes paid media such as mailers and TV commercials.

But any candidates whose strategy is predicated on skirting by on one endorsement, one TV ad, one website, or one other wizbang idea…..don’t waste your time, my time, or the time of your volunteers.

(Crossposted)






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