Polling: Critical to Your Success
A campaign may be able to boast the best candidates, however this is not enough to guarantee success. It’s getting harder and harder to reach people to get your message out there. The winning campaign will not necessarily be the one with the best candidate; it will be the one with the best strategy for communicating with potential voters.
The nature of polling and opinion research has changed, and so has its prevalence. It used to be polling and opinion research were part of mainly US Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns, but now they are used in all levels of government. Opinion research allows you to be sure you’re talking to the right audience – with the right message – and spending your resources wisely.
Data collection for polling can be done through telephone interviews, and is an extremely valuable tool in planning and targeting. First of all, polling can give a candidate an idea of where he or she stands at the start of a campaign, how much support already exists among people of different demographics, and where efforts ought to be focused.
Another benefit of polling is it can test the popularity of candidate strengths and the efficacy of their messages and policy initiatives. This can tell a candidate how undecided voters are best influenced and how to maintain the current base vote.
Polling can also evaluate the political environment, which is helpful is making sure that the tone of the campaign is compatible with the current electorate state of mind. For example, if most of your voters think a public office is moving in the right direction, then it’s a waste of time and resources to focus on corruption and mismanagement in your campaign. Polling can gauge voters’ reactions to and opinions on various issues so that you can keep your campaign on the right track.
Yet another way polling can help you is by helping you discern how to approach specific topics. For example, the term “marriage equality” may garner more positive reactions than “gay marriage.” How you phrase things and how you approach issues matters, and polling can help you find the most effective way to communicate with your voters.
Polls should be done by professionals to ensure the best results. Professional callers are skilled at optimizing the script, using a tone that is both friendly and professional, and being sensitive to the needs and desires of potential voters. Professional callers also know how to the script and don’t lead the person to answering a certain way which will compromise the integrity of the data.
Polling is cost-effective and it works. No matter which office you are running for – citywide, countywide, or even nationwide – polling is something you really should consider budgeting for. There is no other way to get the information you need to fine-tune your campaign that is so straightforward, so effective, or so economical.
It is important to stretch your campaign budget as far as you can, but realize skimping on polling can ultimately cost you your campaign. Time and time again, candidates find the money they invest in polling is repaid many times over.
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