It’s Friday before Election Day and I get a text from my husband at 6:30am – “Hey, guess who’s at the train station!” Followed by this pic:
It’s my hubby Matt with Connecticut State Representative candidate Carol Way, whose clever and memorable yard signs I simply LOVE.
The day before (5 days before E-Day), we got a nice mail piece from the Way campaign – I saved it to remind myself to contact them about getting a yard sign of my very own. I finally remembered around 11pm, and shot off an email via the campaign website asking them to get me a sign.
By 11 am the very next day – *boom* – a volunteer had plunked a yard sign in our yard, and it’s a good thing, too, because despite covering the city pretty well, it’s the only one in our neighborhood.
I just moved to this area a few months ago, and therefore have zero name recognition with any of the candidates starting out in this election cycle. A blank slate!
So let’s run this GOTV effort down:
First contact – Excellent yard sign distribution effort, most likely driven by a great group of dedicated volunteers
Second contact – One well-timed mailer, 5 days before the election – I’m curious to see if another hits on Monday
Third contact – Met candidate in person at the train station, the perfect hub for greeting large numbers of voters in a short amount of time.
So far the Way campaign is doing fantastic! Let’s hope for her sake it continues.
Now let’s compare this to her opponent, Cristin McCarthy Vahey. This campaign has clearly sunk a lot of money into mail drops, because I’ve gotten at least five separate mailers from them.
There’s nothing wrong with a focused mail effort. However, there’s something very wrong with a mail effort that starts dropping pieces months in advance of the election, and then sends nothing in the weeks and days leading up to the election! At least not yet; we’ll see what happens Monday!
I will give the Vahey campaign credit for putting together a decent door-to-door effort over the summer. But her yard sign coverage is anemic at best. Compound that with a longer and less memorable name and you get low name recognition numbers.
I do, however, recognize her tag line: Community. Service. Integrity.
It’s memorable because she’s using my 3-Word Campaign Slogan Strategy! Kudos, Vahey communications team. Clearly the Fairfield Dems are reading GOP Campaigner.
And finally I have to give a special mention to State Representative candidate Tony Hwang, whose campaign came up with the positively brilliant idea to advertise here:
You know that restaurant in town that serves breakfast 24-7 and is positively packed on Sundays? Every town has one, right? That picture is of the placemat at ours. Depending on how many franchises they did this in, I’d wager thousands of voters spent a lot of time with Hwang’s full-color campaign message right next to their orange juices and coffees. Genius! Definitely worth the money on the weekend before Election Day. The Hwang campaign also has a solid yard sign presence.
Earlier this year, an editorial opined that Fairfield County would be make-or-break for the 2014 Connecticut Gubernatorial election. If the local candidates’ ground game is any indication, I’d say Fairfield GOP has their act together and will likely pull through for repeat candidate Tom Foley. Those factors coupled with the Independent candidate dropping out and endorsing Foley add up to very good news for CT Republicans.
I’m excited to watch the results come in Tuesday and see which strategies win out!
What’s the take-away for you future candidates out there?
Be where the voters are!
(and not just where they expect to see you)