How to win an election

Nov 11, 2014

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The keys to winning an election in Kansas when the pivotal issue is abortion are: voting guides in churches, fliers on car windshields in church parking lots, telephone calls, and knocking on doors.  

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported the line on the issue was clear for Kansas candidates.  Gov. Sam Brownback has signed every anti-abortion bill coming across his desk in his time as governor, while Democratic nominee Paul Davis has maintained an abortion-rights record.  U.S. Senator Pat Roberts holds a pro-life stance.  His opponent, Greg Orman described himself as pro-choice. 

Brownback defeated Davis by 4 percentage points.  Roberts held onto victory by 10 percentage points.  

In Texas, the Abbott campaign machine revealed its victory secret post-election- a sophisticated strategy of highly targeted TV advertising, robust online presence, phone calls, social media, and boots on the ground according to The Texas Tribune

The field team of employees was given a goal of reaching 250 verified Abbott voters each week.  Failure to meet that objective meant they no longer had a job.  320 field staffers cycled through the process, but 90 were successful. 

The Abbott campaign also built a massive database with every one of the Lone Star State’s 14 million-plus voters, who were categorized as solid Abbott voters, “persuadable” voters, and Davis supporters using consumer data.

The strategists even knew what TV shows voters were watching, and created ads to target them.

“Every single voter in the state of Texas was given a turnout propensity score,” said Chris Wilson of Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.  “It allowed us to efficiently target who was voting.”

Voters were then given the appropriate nudge to motivate them to vote for Abbott.

Abbott defeated Wendy Davis by 20 percentage points.