When it comes to campaign work, there are some things that are inevitable: late nights, long days, stressful situations, and a quick sprint to Election Day. The Campaign Headquarters team has worked on countless campaigns and we’ve seen it all. We know the best way to survive the run up to Election Day is with plenty of snacks, caffeine, a bottle of Tylenol and some effective GOTV calls.
That’s why, every year the CHQ team puts together Election Survival Kits for our clients. These kits are stuffed full of beef jerky, 5-Hour Energy, toothpaste, Tylenol and a blanket, for those nights when you just have to sleep under your desk.
Last fall, I wrote a guest blogger piece that was featured on CMDI’s website. I thought the information was still pertinent today. I hope you enjoy reading, please let me know if you have any questions.
Activists of all political stripes recommend calling legislators, not just emailing — and certainly not just venting on social media….A phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet.
You can generate these all-important telephone contacts with a smartly run patch through campaign.
Patch through calls empower YOU to identify like-minded people, educate them about your issue, and transfer them directly to their lawmaker’s office to make their voice heard.
To run an effective patch through campaign, keep the following three things in mind:
1. Target the Fence Sitters
When choosing which lawmakers you want to target, focus on those who are on the fence or whose support could waver in the face of a tough vote. There’s no need to waste limited resources on someone who is solidly in your camp or firmly against you. However, it can be helpful to send a few positive patches into an office to give backup to someone taking a tough vote on your behalf.
2. Keep It Conversational
Keep your script simple and straight to the point. Remember, the constituents you are calling are not immersed in the unique language of your industry. They want to know what the issue is, how it affects them, and how they can make a difference. Avoid industry jargon. Read your script aloud.
3. Coordinate Your Efforts
Patch through calls are a powerful tool, but they are even better when coordinated with your ongoing advocacy efforts. If you have a meeting set with a particular lawmaker or his/her staff, imagine the impact you can have with 50 patch through calls the hour before you arrive! You can let that elected official know all they need to is sign on to your issue, and you can make the calls stop.
I’m often asked why patch through campaigns are so effective. The answer is simple. The one thing politicians fear most is losing re-election. Hearing from one constituent after another on a particular issue strikes at the very heart of this fear. Most elected officials are good people who want to do right by their constituents. When a loud and clear message is delivered, they will respond accordingly.
When you are ready to get your patch through telephone campaign running, please give us a call here at CampaignHQ. Our two-time Pollie Award winning team will make sure your message is heard.
Nicole Schlinger is president of CampaignHQ, which is available in the CrimsonMarket.
Any experienced campaigner will tell you that anything can happen between now and Election Day. As we’re approaching Election Day on Nov. 6th, I thought I would share more insights from our CHQ team on specific ways CHQ can help you ensure victory on the big day. Give us a call so we can get to work for you – 1-(888) 722-4704.
President, Campaign Headquarters
When two-term Iowa State Senator Bill Anderson submitted his resignation in September of 2017, it set off a series of campaign challenges involving voter fatigue, election rules, and bitter cold.
In December, State House District 6 Rep. Jim Carlin pulled off a narrow victory to fill the recently vacated Senate seat – 3,707 to 3,083 votes – over Democrat Todd Wendt. What makes these results interesting isn’t the victory, vote count, or margin, but that Carlin actually lost his home county of Woodbury (HD6) by 122 votes.
This set the stage for another special election on January 16th between Republican Jacob Bossman and Democrat Rita DeJong. To win, Bossman and the Iowa GOP both knew they would need to mobilize more voters than turned up for the December special. From volunteers knocking doors, a comprehensive absentee ballot mail program, and making calls to nearly every voter in House District 6, Team Bossman planned to leave no stone unturned.
The real drama starts just days before the election, when a mix-up at the Auditor’s Office delays absentee ballot delivery until Thursday, Jan 11th when ballots need to be post-marked by the 13th.
The Republican Party of Iowa reached out to CampaignHQ for help keeping voters up-to-date. Our dedicated, conservative call staff informed absentee voters of the ballot mix-up, and reminded them to get ballots turned back in during the narrow window.
Absentees are an important part of every election, but what makes this especially important is Jack Frost was playing his hand in the election this year as well. Temperatures across the region had plummeted, with highs of -15 degree wind chills, lots of blowing snow, and the forecast getting colder and whiter.
By the time Election Day rolled around, winter still had not let up. On January 16th the polls open with a -20 degree wind chill and a white-out snow storm. More calls from CampaignHQ are requested, with a simple message for every voter who missed both absentee ballots and early voting: “If you can make it to the polls safely tonight, please do. Many cannot, so YOUR vote today is especially important.”
It worked! Republican turnout increased during the blizzard, with more voters reaching the polls than a month earlier during “balmy” 40 degree weather. Absentee ballots only saw a small dip on the Republican side compared to a huge drop for the Democrats, who weren’t able to execute a mail and phone program during the same compressed window CampaignHQ and the Republicans got their calls out.
Bossman won by 2,165 votes to 1,713.
Lauren Page from the Iowa GOP’s House Majority Fund had this to say after the counts were in: “Thanks [CampaignHQ]! Honestly, we couldn’t have done it without you and your team. Thanks so much for being easy to work with and for getting the job done under such short notice. There’s no way we could have gotten through all those calls, and the effect they had on turnout at the polls and absentee ballots is undeniable. ”
We have a great staff at Campaign Headquarters – a passionate group of hardworking, attentive individuals that do a tremendous job of serving our clients.
One of the members of our “executive team” is Martha Waffles, Chief Canine Officer.
Martha Waffles came from the Heartland Humane Society in Ottumwa, Iowa. But if you ask where she came from, she’ll tell you she came from the “Super Expensive Designer Dog Shop.”
As the Chief Canine Officer, Martha Waffles does a lot of lounging, eating her favorite treat, Greenies and attending various events. She actually sends an annual email to our clients and friends. She frequently reminds me that her newsletter is CHQ’s most opened email each year.
Here is another post with insights from a CHQ team member centered around a study that was released last September. The authors of the study used evidence from field experiments to highlight campaign contact in elections. CHQ Campaign Director, Walter Haynie, delivers some great takeaways in his blog post.
I hope you’ll keep reading.
A lot of buzz has been generated by the recent study on the persuasive effects of campaign contact, authored by UC Berkeley political scientist, Joshua Kalla and Stanford professor David Broockman. If you haven’t seen it, here is the full 166 page study including data on 49 field experiments. Below is a more lunch-time digestible summary.
The media went nuts on this one, with headlines like, “The End of Political Campaigns As We Know Them?” and “Traditional Campaign Tactics Are Basically A Waste Of Time.” Not surprisingly, the headlines ignore large swaths of the authors’ findings: voter contact works to persuade voters, but only when it’s done right.
Broockman and Kalla argue that primaries and ballot measures are where persuasion tactics work best.
“We find campaigns are able to have meaningful persuasive effects in primary and ballot measure campaigns, when partisan cues are not present … We see clear significant effects in both these election types.”
The reason, they suggest, is that it is difficult to persuade someone to vote against party cues. Big surprise there. It is therefore relatively much easier to persuade voters toward your candidate or ballot measure when party cues are not present.
Despite the headlines, the study does not assume that voter contact efforts don’t matter in general elections, only that persuasive efforts in general elections do not measurably convince voters to step across party lines. The authors suggest the more significant impacts of campaigns during general elections are to:
“reinforce the political orientations of voters, and mobilize them to vote rather than convert large segments of the population to new ways of thinking… Campaigns clearly can influence whether voters bother to vote at all. Indeed, another implication of our results is that campaigns may underinvest in voter turnout efforts.”
So what’s my take-away?
Campaigns will get their best “bang for their buck” by focusing persuasive voter contact spending during races lacking party cues, namely ballot initiatives and primary elections.
Once general election races have started, voter contact dollars are probably best spent on GOTV efforts rather than persuasive ones- mobilize the friends you already have, and get them to the voting booth!
If your campaign relies on persuading voters to reconsider their position, you had better identify persuadable voters early on if you want voter contact efforts to be effective.
Do you agree or disagree with Broockman and Kalla? Is this useful academic research, or left-wing nonsense?
In 1999, I founded CampaignHQ with the mission of helping Iowa Republican candidates raise money through major donor solicitations, event management, house parties and mailings. With anywhere from 6 to 10 events each week, I couldn’t find a call center willing and able to handle the event turnout calls needed to make each one a success. So I began hiring people to make those calls, originally from paper printouts on landline phones.
As the business grew, the demand for call center services quickly surpassed the limited need for a stand-in finance director in local and statewide races. So CampaignHQ became a national firm, expanding outside Iowa in 2007.
I’m proud of the firm CampaignHQ is today – one known for creative solutions, quick turnaround, competitive pricing, and legendary customer service. The next time you want a call center that will treat you like family, give us a call.
As we’re nearing Election Day, 2018, I’ve decided to share a few past posts that are still relevant today. These insights from the Campaign Headquarters team provide a great look at the work we do to advance the conservative cause each and every day.
“It Makes A Difference” was originally posted in 2017 after the Republicans lost the fight defunding Planned Parenthood. We took Sen. Lindsey Graham’s advice (noted below) and started our efforts earlier and saw a monumental victory for the pro-life movement.
I hope you enjoy these flashback posts as much as I do.
The best part about working at CampaignHQ is the assurance that we are making a difference.
We work with a whole host of amazing clients and to pick one as my favorite would be impossible, but to put together a shortlist would not. On that short list would be The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA).
Not only are they great people to work with but they are difference makers. They are always the first pro-life group to jump into action when a legislator needs to hear from his or her constituents.
I believe SBA is one of the most impressive and action oriented pro-life groups in the country. They are gearing up for the elections by preparing to target vulnerable pro-abortion senators. In fact, they have already knocked on more than 100,000 doors in the targeted states.
Recently, Senator Lindsey Graham did a microforum with SBA. During the microforum Senator Graham discussed the next steps for defunding Planned Parenthood. We were thrilled to hear him speak these words, “Your phone calls made a difference, and next year we just need to get started earlier.”
The President of The Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, had kind words to say about CampaignHQ Patch Through Calls as well, “We have found the use of patch through calls during the height of the battle an excellent way to get our supporters to engage with elected officials. CampaignHQ is flexible and nimble. They have learned the importance of launching a campaign quickly and we appreciate that.”
So if you do want to be a difference maker, consider giving us a call to launch your patch through calls, because after all – your phone calls make a difference!