Congressional elections looking at some basics
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Congressional Elections: Looking at Some Basics. Dennis W. Johnson. Congressional Campaigns. In House races, far fewer resources than senate, gubernatorial, and certainly presidential campaigns. Congressional Campaigns.

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Congressional elections looking at some basics

Congressional Elections:Looking at Some Basics

Dennis W. Johnson


Congressional campaigns

Congressional Campaigns

  • In House races, far fewer resources than senate, gubernatorial, and certainly presidential campaigns


Congressional campaigns1

Congressional Campaigns

  • In House races, far fewer resources than senate, gubernatorial, and certainly presidential campaigns

  • House incumbents may have a $1 million to spend; challengers often far less


Congressional campaigns2

Congressional Campaigns

  • In House races, far fewer resources than senate, gubernatorial, and certainly presidential campaigns

  • House incumbents may have a $1 million to spend; challengers often far less

  • House incumbents return to office about 90-95 percent of time.


Senate races

Senate Races

  • Average Senate campaign will spend about $5 million; but varies widely ($30 million in California).


Senate races1

Senate Races

  • Average Senate campaign will spend about $5 million; but varies widely ($30 million in California).

  • With those resources, Senate campaign can afford full range of communication resources. Unlike House candidate.


In a presidential cycle

In a Presidential Cycle . . .

  • Not same voters as in 2006 (or 2002 voters for a Senator running for re-election)


In a presidential cycle1

In a Presidential Cycle . . .

  • Not same voters as in 2006

  • Airwaves will be saturated


Ways congressional campaigns communicate

Ways Congressional Campaigns Communicate

  • In major media markets, House candidates can’t afford TV


Ways congressional campaigns communicate1

Ways Congressional Campaigns Communicate

  • In major media markets, House candidates can’t afford TV

  • For House: Direct mail; radio; telemarketing; newspaper; billboards; even show leather.

    Old-school communications.


Ways congressional campaigns communicate2

Ways Congressional Campaigns Communicate

  • In major media markets, can’t afford TV

  • Direct mail; radio; telemarketing; newspaper; billboards; even shoe leather. Old-school communications.

  • Little help from free media


Campaigning online

Campaigning Online

  • A Congressional campaign – House or Senate -- would be foolish not to have online resources --


Campaigning online1

Campaigning Online

  • A Congressional campaign – House or Senate -- would be foolish not to have online resources –

  • And a campaign would be foolish to rely solely on online resources.


Campaigning online2

Campaigning Online

  • In House races, don’t expect sophisticated online presence, like seen at presidential level.


Campaigning online3

Campaigning Online

  • In House races, don’t expect sophisticated online presence, like seen at presidential level.

  • In Senate race, campaigns should be able to mount sophisticated online presence – not presidential level, but certainly sufficient


Cardinal principle of campaigning

Cardinal Principle of Campaigning

  • The candidate is responsible for the conduct and execution of every aspect of the campaign.


Cardinal principle of campaigning1

Cardinal Principle of Campaigning

  • The candidate is responsible for the conduct and execution of every aspect of the campaign.

  • E-mails, contents of blogs, links to external sources, social networking sites, etc.


Nationalization of the contest

Nationalization of the Contest

  • Anticipate national 527s, rogue blogging sites, YouTube postings, text-messaging.


Nationalization of the contest1

Nationalization of the Contest

  • Anticipate national 527s, rogue blogging sites, YouTube postings, text-messaging

  • Your job: put all this in context for readers—who’s responsible for this attack, what is this innocuous-sounding organization, who are these people?


What you should do

What You Should Do

  • Hold online campaigning to the same critical standard as pre-online campaigning.


What you should do1

What You Should Do

  • Hold online campaigning to the same critical standard as pre-online campaigning.

  • Sign up for every possible e-mail and RSS feed.


What you should do2

What You Should Do

  • Hold online campaigning to the same critical standard as pre-online campaigning.

  • Sign up for every possible e-mail and RSS feed.

  • Understand that the competing candidates are but two voices in the cacophony of this campaign.


What you should do3

What You Should Do

  • Finally – unless you tell the story, congressional elections will be lost to your readership, drowned out in the noise of presidential campaigning.


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