Taking 2012
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TAKING 2012. WVRLC Regional Candidate Training Session. WELCOME. VOTE GOALS. What do you need to win?. County Clerk General Election precinct turnout Lowest GOP total/Highest GOP total by precinct Swing precincts +/- 5% or flip flop Compare top to down ballot. USING VOTER VAULT.

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Taking 2012


WVRLC Regional Candidate Training Session

What do you need to win
What do you need to win?

  • County Clerk

  • General Election precinct turnout

  • Lowest GOP total/Highest GOP total by precinct

  • Swing precincts +/- 5% or flip flop

  • Compare top to down ballot

Voter vault


  • PV Status—Perfect Voter Status out of the past 4 elections. 4 of 4 = Perfect; 0 of 4 = no votes

  • Phone Reliability Code— From a scale of 1 to 9, the likelihood of having a correct #. 9 highest; 1 lowest. 0 is no information available.

  • Affiliations— A Voter Vault user addition to a person’s voting likelihood or issue stance.

Voter vault continued
VOTER VAULT (continued)

Access and login

  • To get a username and password: Chad Holland, Executive Director WVGOP at (304)768-0493

  • Password page – Case sensitive

  • User agreement – Click agree if you love freedom and liberty. All others click disagree.

Voter vault continued1
VOTER VAULT (continued)


  • Individual lookup – Last name & comma & first name

  • County dropdown

  • Affiliations

Voter vault continued2
VOTER VAULT (continued)

Walk and Call Lists

  • Walk list vs. call list

  • Precinct #

  • List Filters

  • Print (attached example)

Voter vault continued3
VOTER VAULT (continued)

Exports for Direct Mail/Robo-call/Phone Banks

  • Select District

  • Filters

  • Affiliations/Phone Reliability

  • Export

Recommended campaign schedule


  • Develop your fall campaign strategy and budget. Obtain rates from local TV/radio stations and newspapers to give you ideas on cost.

  • Develop a campaign "stump speech" and practice delivering it without the benefit of notes. (3-5 minutes in length).

  • Start a "clip file" on key issues affecting your district and also on anything that arises involving your opponents.

  • Subscribe and obtain access to all newspapers in your district in order to learn about upcoming events you can attend.

  • Begin door-to-door visits in precincts targeting independent or swing-Democrat voters.

Recommended schedule continued


  • Perform historical voter research through your local county courthouse or Voter Vault.

  • Get your campaign material printed.

  • Attend fairs and festivals in your area. Try to have a vehicle, such as a truck, decorated with your signage and parked in a prominent area at these events.

  • Hold a fundraiser or summer picnic or a “Town Hall” series where you can meet potential supporters and volunteers. Consider placing a small advertisement in your local newspaper to promote the event.

  • Meet with the local editors/reporters to introduce yourself and to provide an "issues platform" for their files and numbers where they can reach you throughout the campaign.

Recommended schedule continued1


  • Prepare your fall advertising, including any TV/radio or newspaper ads you intend to run.

  • Make your television, radio, and newspaper purchases for the last 10 days of the campaign. If ample funds exist and you did not advertise in the May Primary, consider a one-week "frontload" in late September to get your name "ahead of the pack."

  • Continue weekend "door-to-door" visits and begin erecting campaign signs. Intensify visits to swing and Republican precincts closer to the election.

Recommended schedule continued2

Early October

  • Start newspaper advertising in weekly newspapers on or after October 1st. These should be at least 1/8 page in size.

  • Call your local radio talk shows to schedule an appearance. Also, find out if your local newspaper will be having editorial board meetings.

  • Assign volunteers to hand out materials at shopping malls, football games, and other populated events.

  • Put an "infrastructure" together for your phone bank program that will take place right before the election.

  • Send your first direct mail piece the first or second week of October. This should be an introductory card (positions, biographical/contact information).

Recommended schedule continued3

Late October

  • Begin your phone bank program at the start of the Early Voting Period and continue through Monday, November 5. Call between 6pm and 9pm.

  • If advertising in daily newspapers, start ads beginning 10 days from the election. Request that these ads be placed on the "right side of the page" and in the "A" section.

  • Start adverting on key radio stations beginning at the start of the Early Voting Period. Select talk radio, news, country, and/or oldies type of stations. Run 6-8 times a day between 7am and 7pm.

  • Start advertising on local cable TV two weeks from the election. Select channels such as CNN and/or ESPN. Run at least 8 spots per day

  • Send out your second direct mail to correspond with the start of Early Voting. This should be an "issue-oriented" postcard. Send out your third direct mail postcard just before the election.

Recommended schedule continued4


  • Intensify phone bank and door-to-door up to Election Day.

  • Hold-up campaign signs and wave to motorists during morning and afternoon "rush hours" up to Election Day. Be sure not to campaign too close to any polling place on Election Day.

  • Arrive at the county courthouse around 9 P.M. on Election Night to monitor returns. This is where the news media will also be for interview purposes.

  • Assign volunteers to retrieve ALL your campaign yard signs.

  • Make personal calls to campaign supporters, donors, and others who helped during your campaign.

Preparing a finance plan

  • Budget out your overall campaign plan

  • Research amount previous candidates spent thorough the Secretary of State’s Website

  • Plan expenditures and work your way forward

  • Anticipate negative attacks

  • Include a prospectus of likely donors

Establishing a finance organization

  • Your Finance Chairman

  • Your Treasurer

  • Your Finance Committee Members


A carefully planned, managed, and executed fundraising program:

  • Targets potential donors

  • Determines and groups these prospects by their probable level of donation

  • Develops persuasive reasons for prospects to give

  • Selects the appropriate method for soliciting each group of prospects

  • Assures cash flow from planned fundraising programs meets the predetermined needs of the overall campaign plan

Fundraising continued
FUNDRAISING (continued)

Reasons people give:

  • Think you will win

  • Donating has become a habit

  • Frustrated with their present representation

  • Wish to become involved in public service

Fundraising continued1
FUNDRAISING (continued)

Reasons people do not give:

  • Individuals are not convinced you can win

  • Individuals do not know how much to give

  • Individuals have never given before

  • Your appeal is too vague

  • Their contribution may subject them to retaliation or disfavor with others


Fundraising continued2
FUNDRAISING (continued)

Methods of Fundraising:

  • Hold special events 

  • Direct mail fundraising 

  • One-on-one or face-to-face solicitation  

  • Peer/Issue-oriented/Industry fundraising

Fundraising continued3
FUNDRAISING (continued)

Fundraising Tips:

  • Ask for a specific amount

  • Be prepared to discuss how funds will be used

  • Follow up with telephone/mail solicitiation

Soliciting political action committees

  • Most PACs will wait until mid-October to endorse

  • Most PACS view persistence as an asset

  • PACs are impressed by financial support of others, endorsements from other PACs, and a credible presentation

  • PACs tend to support incumbents, not challengers

Using your own money

  • Decide the amount you are willing to give

  • Inject resources in the form of a written loan

  • Most legislators can retire debts with post-election fundraising

  • Do not spend more than you can afford to lose

Creating a candidate brand

An effective candidate brand:

  • Delivers your message clearly, consistently, and concisely

  • Confirms your credibility as a candidate

  • Connects you to your voters in a familiar way

  • Motivates potential voters

Social media

Facebook and Twitter:

  • Effective and inexpensive way to reach voters

  • Useful way to distribute information

  • Inform voters of community/campaign events

  • Posts are public and fair game for the media

Social media continued
SOCIAL MEDIA (continued)

Campaign Websites should include:

  • Biographical and contact information

  • Platform

  • Press releases

  • Photos

  • Volunteer and donation opportunities

Grassroots campaigning

“Gimme Five” or “Contact Five” Drives

  • Supporters may be willing to contact five close friends or relatives in your district and urge them to vote for you.

  • A good approach is to have at least 1,000 of these cards printed early and give them out to family, friends, and supporters.

  • Ask each of them to: A) fill out the card with 5 names, then B) call these people during the Early Voting period or the night before the Election.

  • The success of the “Gimme Five” depends upon your active involvement.

  • If only 100-200 of your most dedicated supporters would each be responsible for getting just five of their friends to the polls to vote for you, such effort could very well make the difference in your race.

Grassroots campaigning continued

Historical Voters

  • The Secretary of State’s office, your county clerk's office, and Voter Vault have records that reflect in which elections each voter has voted.

  • These records should be used to help you determine the "most likely" voters, also called "historical voters."

  • During the early months of your campaign, identify the historical voters to be contacted in your direct mail, door-to-door and/or phone bank efforts.

  • Eliminating unlikely voters from your door-to-door lists, phone call lists, and direct mail lists can save you time, resources, postage, and money.

Grassroots campaigning continued1

Direct Mail

  • Direct mail is one of the most narrowly targeted and effective methods of getting your message to historical, high-frequency voters.

  • Delete duplicates at the same address and make sure you send only one mail piece to a particular address, regardless of the number of voters who reside there.

  • If your campaign budget allows, it is best to send a direct mail piece from one to three times during your campaign.

  • If you are unable to send more than one direct mailing, it may be best to break your mailing into two portions: one directed at early voters and one sent just before the election.

Grassroots campaigning continued2

Phone Banks

  • If possible, a "phone bank" system during the Early Voting period leading up to Election Day is helpful to encourage your voters to get out the vote.

  • Such effort may include groups of volunteers making calls, local GOP groups making calls, or candidate automated “robo calls.”

  • Phone calls should be brief and friendly, and should be placed from 6:30-9:00 in the evenings.

  • If the caller receives voice mail or an answering machine, they can still leave this same message for the voter.

  • You should ask your volunteer callers to be careful not to answer questions on your behalf or commit you to certain positions if they are not ones you have already stated.

Grassroots campaigning continued3


  • You may wish to start by obtaining the 2008 and 2010 election returns, precinct by precinct, from your local county clerk's office.

  • Carefully prioritize the door-to-door campaigning done by you and by volunteers.

  • It is best to only visit the homes of the historical voters in this area. It is important that you target your efforts where you can be most successful.

  • Less targeted precincts should be visited early in the summer months. It is best to visit the targeted precincts in the six weeks prior to the General Election.

  • Door-to-door is best conducted on Saturdays or after 5:30 P.M. and until dusk on weekdays. Have a supply of your palm cards with you to leave with voters.

Grassroots campaigning continued4

Community Events

  • School sports events, car shows, holiday events, fundraising dinners and auctions, parades, fairs and festivals, and community picnics

  • Ask volunteers to inform you of any events of which they are aware and, if possible, accompany you to events for groups in which they are involved.

  • Check local newspapers, the internet, Facebook “event” calendars, and Twitter for events to attend.

  • If you cannot attend, try to ask a supporter to stand in for you and distribute your campaign materials.

  • Campaign pens, emery boards, balloons, etc., are expensive. You should be careful to not devote too much of your campaign resources to such items.

Grassroots campaigning continued5

Yard Signs

  • Yard signs are an effective means of getting your name out into your district, particularly if you are a new candidate.

  • Do not put too much information on your signs. Your name should be the most prominent and should be as large as possible.

  • Signs should be placed on property only with the owner’s permission.

  • Make sure to periodically check your signs or have a volunteer check your signs throughout the campaign.

  • It is best to obtain sign locations where your sign is the only one, or one of only a few, along with other GOP candidates at the location.

Grassroots campaigning continued6

Waving at Busy Intersections

  • Holding campaign signs at busy intersections is an inexpensive way to get your name out to voters without interrupting them with a visit or a phone call.

  • Arrive prior to the start of morning or evening rush hour. Make sure you are in a safe, well-lit area that does not obstruct traffic or place you or others in danger.

  • Make sure the sign has your name in large letters that are easy to read by passing motorists. If yard signs are not large enough, have larger signs made.

  • Locations near shopping centers or school, sports, or community events are usually good sites to stand and wave to voters.

  • Dress well while holding signs so voters know you as the candidate, not simply a volunteer on your behalf.

Responding to a negative attack

  • Prepare a Response Immediately

  • Stick to the Issues

  • Respond with Facts

  • Endorsements Speak for Themselves

  • Remain Calm

Message strategies

  • Develop and stick to your message early

  • Sticking to a message causes opponent to go “off message” and become reactive

  • Messages should be simple and succinct

  • Voter’s need to be able to relate

The top 5 issues
The Top 5 Issues

The WVRLC believes there will be 5 central issues in the 2012 election. These issues can be compiled under a single theme:


The top 5 issues continued
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

  • Tax Cuts and Tax Reform

  • Infrastructure Improvements

  • Legal and Regulatory Reform

  • Educational Reform

  • Election and Ethics Reform

The top 5 issues continued1
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

Tax Cuts and Tax Reform:

  • Eliminate any tax that requires exceptions to attract business

  • Eliminate inventory tax

  • Increase Homestead Exemption

  • Reduce property taxes

The top 5 issues continued2
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

Infrastructure Improvements:

  • Modern infrastructure is necessary for businesses to invest, build, and expand.

  • Modern, well-maintained roads and bridges are needed to get goods to market and for employees to get to work safely.

  • Reliable water and sewage systems are important to the health and sustainability of the West Virginia workforce.

  • Broadband coverage is needed to attract individuals to both work and prosper within the state while promoting the connectivity and modernization of businesses in rural areas

The top 5 issues continued3
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

Legal and Regulatory Reform:

  • Provide a more fair and level playing field in our court system.

  • Reducing the amount of red-tape, inviting businesses who wish to employ our citizens, particularly small businesses.

  • Repeal state-level “cap and trade” and implementation of Obamacare.

  • Make clear the personal impact that these programs will have on each and every West Virginian. Cap and trade is quite simply an energy tax passed on through utility. Obamacare will result in higher insurance premiums paid by our people, not insurance companies.

The top 5 issues continued4
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

Educational Reform:

  • Ensure that all of our students have the benefit of at least 180 days of quality education each year.

  • Greater focus on math and science curricula, and energy-related fields

  • Reforms and incentives for enhancing educational excellence along with revised personnel policies will ensure that the most qualified individuals are teaching our children.

  • Provide families more choices in the education of their children.

  • Reforms allowing students to move from failing schools to high performing schools along with a more open environment for charter schools and educational alternatives

The top 5 issues continued5
The Top 5 Issues (continued)

Election and Ethics Reform:

  • Voter identification

  • Preventing felons from running for office

  • Addressing absentee voter fraud

  • Strengthening ethics requirements

Using the legislative webiste
Using the Legislative Webiste

  • Go to http://www.legis.state.wv.us/

  • Select “Bill Status”and search for bills

  • Scroll to the “ACTIONS” table

  • Open roll calls

Roll calls

  • Cap and Trade—HB 103 (2009)

  • Health Care Exchange—SB 408 (2011)

  • Redistricting—HBs 106 and 201 (2011)

  • DMV Fee Increase—SB 608 (2011)

  • Marriage Amendment—HJR 5 (2010)

  • Casino Modernization—SB 550 (2011)


  • For additional resources, check out the WVRLC’s website.

  • Under “Resources,” the “For Candidate” sub-tab has information available just for you

  • Password is Taking2012

Final wrap up

  • Campaign Actively

  • Stand by Your Message

  • Fundraise, Fundraise, Fundraise

  • Be Prepared

  • Stay Positive