One of the hardest things for candidates to accept is the fact that most voters are NOT ideological while most candidates clearly are. Indeed, many voters make their decisions on reasoning that often defies logic.
I remember long ago when the wife of a GOP party leader voted against the GOP candidate for governor and for the Democrat because she didn’t like the shoes the Republican candidate’s wife wore!
This isn’t unique to politics. It transcends all kinds of daily life issues your voters face on a regular basis.
Indeed, marketing expert Seth Godin recently noted that high schoolers facing the decision on which college to attend often considered factors that had absolutely nothing to do with the level of education they expected to receive in return for tens of thousands of dollars invested in tuition.
Godin listed a number of reasons students have given him for picking a particular school, including…
- I like the weather there
- They have recycling bins all over campus
- The tour guide who showed us around was cute
- I think I’d have fun at the football games
- My peers in high school will be impressed
- It’s expensive and so it must be better
- I grew up watching the school’s teams on television
- It’s close to my house and doing laundry will be easier
- My parents went there
- My parents didn’t go there
- It feels right
- I’m tired of this and need to get it over with already
You can have the greatest campaign platform in the history of mankind and some voters will vote against you anyway for what, in your mind, is the dumbest of reasons.
But guess what? Their vote counts just as much as the fully-informed and ideological voter’s.
Your job – challenge, really – is to find out the real reason for why a voter votes the way he or she does and address it regardless of whether you personally think it’s important.
In the immortal words of WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “It doesn’t matter what you think!”
If a voter tells you what really bothers them is dog owners who don’t pick up their dog’s poop at the dog park, well, maybe you should listen to them and address THAT issue because it’s clearly something important to THEM.
Voters vote for candidates they believe CARE about the issues the VOTER cares about. They could care less about returning the U.S. to the gold standard no matter how much that issue is important to YOU.
Campaigns are all about the VOTERS, not the candidate. Because you can’t do anything in office if the voters don’t vote you into office.
Your job isn’t to win the argument. Your job is to win the race.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Take classes, read, and attend seminars. I search newspapers and the Internet for new, interesting classes, many of which are free or inexpensive. I also attend and pay for expensive seminars on what I want to learn. I am wealthy and free from needing a job simply because of the courses I took.” – Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”