The Art & Science of Campaigning

Seems you can’t get through the day without reading about the latest political poll about this candidate or that ballot measure.

But what’s behind those numbers? Or more to the point, who?

On yesterday’s NBC San Diego Sunday morning program, Politically Speaking, pollster John Nienstedt of Competitive Edge Research & Communication and Democratic consultant Chris Crotty of Crotty Consulting, discussed the value good polling brings to a candidate or ballot measure.

WATCH Politically Speaking | The Art & Science of Campaigns

Even this brief glimpse behind the scenes offers voters reason enough to not only pay attention to polling, but how to evaluate the political profession based on the validity behind the research.

Campaigns aren’t all talismans and voodoo. Combining the art of warfare with statistically-valid science makes all the difference in the world in today’s landscape.

As Nienstedt noted, it’s vital to target likely voters with the right questions and strategically analyzing the data to get to the core of voter opinions.

“… Once you get down into the real solid numbers, you find that there’s some truth there that you can use to create a better campaign,” Nienstedt said.

Crotty, whose worked with Nienstedt on past campaigns, said message testing helps consultants boil down all those strategic elements to reach hearts and minds on timely issues.

“The key to winning any campaign, whether it’s a candidate or a ballot measure, is to have a really good measure and communicate it effectively,” Crotty said. “That’s where the art and science of campaigning comes in. You need to have a feel for the electorate.”

In the end, it’s all about getting people to the polls. Or not…

As Crotty notes, negative campaigning pits the odds of voters you don’t want at the polls against those you do tipping in your favor.

It’s risky, but sometimes it could just be the right move.


Learn more about Competitive Edge Research and other Galvanized clients.

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