From Tom Isenberg:

I attended the three-day Campaign Management Seminar at the LP convention in Salt Lake City and it really opened my eyes and got me motivated. Everyone who attended raved about it. (And several of us have attended Republican Party campaign workshops.)

The professional campaign consultant who led the workshop, Sal Guzzetta, debunked several misconceptions we Libertarians often have about campaigning. According to him:

  1. Name recognition is the key to victory. 85% of the voters in non-federal elections cite this as their main motivation for voting. The rest, only 15%, care strongly about party affiliation and/or the candidate's actual positions. The good news, obviously, for Libertarians is that our label and positions are not liabilities for the vast majority of voters. The bad news is, many Libertarian candidates would rather debate their controversial positions instead of doing the real work of ringing doorbells and handing out name cards.

  2. You only need 51% of the voters to win. And then you can educate the public as much as you want when the reporters interview you as a lawmaker. Therefore you must do telephone polls to find out who's for you, who's against you, and who's undecided. You ignore the folks who are pro and con and target the undecideds only. (Obviously you target the FOR's for donations and volunteer work, but you don't bother doorbelling or mailing them.)

  3. Campaigns are not won so much as they are fumbled even worse by the other guy. Successful campaigning is a pretty straight-forward discipline that few campaigns follow: find out who's undecided and doorbell, mail, doorbell, mail. The day before the election you call up all the PROs and the undecideds to "get out the vote."

  4. Libertarians have a built-in fund-raising advantage over the other parties: a network of committed folks across the country. The Rs and Ds target only about 35 races around the country (typically an important seat that they won or lost the last time by less than 5% of the vote.) That means that 99% of the candidates are not funded by their party and have to handle their own fund-raising and volunteering. They are in the same position as we are. Fund-raising is easier for Libertarians because we support candidates outside our districts. The Rs and Ds typically don't.

There's obviously a lot more detail and how-to knowledge involved, so for that I strongly recommend you get his campaign manuals (we got them as part of the seminar, and they are awesome!)

To get the campaign manuals, contact [WWW]Political Publications.