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The Missouri Volunteer Party: Campaign Strategy

Bringing Power Back to the People

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Sections on this page: Getting Started || Making the Visit || Why This Strategy || The Impact || Closing the Gap

Getting Started

Planning the Route
A little planning goes a long way.

To begin with, you should know that the Volunteer Party is always ready to help. If you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, need advice, or lack manpower, we are here for you. You can contact us by clicking here. The key is to be in the fight, and willing to go the distance.

Each candidate needs to meet these goals:

  1. Perform fundraising for printing costs.  You will likely need between $100 and $500.  If you need ideas for fundraisers, or need assistance, contact us!
  2. Get committments from about 15 friends, family, or supporters to go knocking on doors for a weekend (4 to 8 hours).

A determined person can visit about 100 homes in an 8-hour period - more if they are in suburban or urban areas. A candidate, therefore, with 15 helpers, can visit:

15 helpers * 100 homes = 1,500 homes in 8 hours (one weekend).

A district's voting-age population is about 28,000. That's roughly 15,000 homes. Which means, with just 15 people, a candidate can visit one-tenth of his electorate in just one weekend.

As long as a candidate is coordinated and methodical, this could be done at least once a month without creating a time burden.

Do this every month from May until November, and half of the voters in the district will have received a personal visit:

1,500 homes visited per month * 5 months = 7,500 homes.

That's an astounding number of homes!  It's especially true for such a small "core" group, who only sacrifice one weekend a month. It shows what can be done if people are determined to make a difference.

Geek Visit
Attitude beats appearance every time.

Making the Visit

The visit, if done right, should take no more than about two minutes. Collect a signature (if needed), hand them a small pamphlet/booklet/packet, thank them and leave.

If you do this close to election time, you can hand them a non-partisan brief on all of the candidates for the ballot in their area (including major party candidates). This does two things:

  1. It informs the voter. Voters who feel informed are less likely to be swayed by repetitive mass-media techniques like slogans and "name recognition".
  2. It provides a balanced viewpoint.  By showing third party/independent candidates side-by-side with major party candidates, we put all candidates on an equal footing for the voter.

For safety reasons, using pairs or groups to visit homes, rather than a lone person, might be preferable. If there are children who want to help out, this would be an opportunity for them to stretch their legs, rather than doing boring stuff like folding pamphlets. Also, kids make people smile when you visit.

If you're uncomfortable with talking to strangers, remember that you don't need to make a speech. Keeping it short is actually better. Simply say hello, give your name and why you're here, hand them a pamphlet, explain what's in it, and ask them if they have any questions. If they say no, say, "Thank you so much for your time and have a nice day (or God bless your day)," and leave.  Always stay positive.

Rehearse in private beforehand what you might say. Practice it with your friends if you can. It may help to remember that statistically speaking, there is an 80% chance that a person you visit wasn't going to be voting for you anyway. So you have nothing to lose if it doesn't go well, and everything to gain if it does.

Back to Top || Getting Started || The Impact || Closing the Gap

Why We Picked This Strategy

Media Conditioning
Let's refuse to play their game.

Once you have reached more than a fourth of the voters, you'll have created a "critical mass" of home visits. People going to work start to realize their co-workers got a visit, too. They talk about it briefly. They think, "Wow, these guys are serious".

Election history has demonstrated that personal visits work better than mass-media. They're also "cheaper" in the sense that they don't cost a lot of money. But they do cost a lot more time.

It's how we have to fight this election, however. We can't compete with mass-media - that's the turf of the major parties. It's why they raise so much money - to buy billboard ads, fancy posters, and TV and radio time.

Back to Top || Getting Started || Making the Visit || Closing the Gap

The Impact

Independents or third parties who run in districts that are normally unopposed ("rotten distrcits") traditionally get 15% to 25% of the vote.

They need more than 50% to win.

Independents or third parties who run in districts where the Republicans and Democrats are competing usually get 4% to 10% of the vote.

They need at least 33%, and more likely 40%, to win.

According to recent surveys and polls, 42% of Missouri voters will be uncommitted voters. At least half of those uncommitted voters identify as independent, i.e., against the major parties.

That's 21% of all voters. That means that we can safely guess that at least one in five voters will be motivated to vote for you by a personal visit. If you visit half of the homes, this means:

50% voters visited * 21% independently-minded voters = 10.5% votes gained

Remember that's a minimum. If you manage to sway all of the uncommitted voters with your visits, that would be a maximum 21% gain.

Also remember that these figures relate to visiting only half of the homes in your district. If you visit more, you'll gain more. If you manage to visit all of the homes in your district, you will have an extremely strong advantage, anywhere between a 21% - 42% gain.

If we add these estimated gains to the traditional voting base for third parties and independents, you'll see that victory is within reach!

Total for a candidate running in an unopposed ("rotten") district who visits half the homes:

15% to 25% base + 10% to 21% gain = 25% to 46% of the vote.

Total for a candidate running in an opposed district with both a Democrat and Republican, who visits half the homes:

4% to 10% base + 10% to 21% gain = 14% to 31% of the vote.

Back to Top || Getting Started || Making the Visit || Why This Strategy

Closing the Gap

In both cases listed above, the candidates are anywhere from 25% to just 5% away from victory. Those are gaps that can be closed with hard work (more visits), promotional help (more money), social media (more time), or random events.

The point is that this margin gives you a chance to take advantage of opportunities and get elected.

In other words, it's not a question of if you can get elected. The numbers show that it can be done. It's a matter of willpower on the part of you and your supporters.

One weekend a month, for five months. That's all that you need for a chance.

As always, if you need help, support, or advice, do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

Back to Top || Getting Started || Making the Visit || Why This Strategy || The Impact

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