September 20, 2014

When running for an office, look at election results for trends.

If you have never run before, look to the election results for your race. Find the breakdown based on communities. If you know the communities, you can get a feel for the people. Political party strength can be helpful, but there is much data available to cross.

You won’t have money for polling and so you have to devise your own. You need to look at the results, the demographics, the candidates in that race, and the percentage of the voting population that went to the polls. This can tell you where you need to be and how to adjust your campaign.

Notice trends that correlate with demographics. There are ethnic enclaves. There are populations of various groups. There are age demographics. There are educational achievement demographics. These tools are readily available. Use them.

Election folklore has it that the population tends to break in percentages based on age. There is a simple rule of thumb to use. 20% of people in their 20s vote. 30% in their 30s. 40% in their 40s. And so on. This is just a rule of thumb and use it in conjunction with your population statistics. Sure, 80% of 80 year olds may vote, but there are fewer 80 year olds than those in their 20s.

LESSON ELEVEN: UTILIZE FREE DATA TO GAUGE YOUR SUCCESS. GET AS MUCH FREE DATA AS POSSIBLE. RI BOARD OF ELECTION HAS RESULTS FROM PAST RACES BROKEN DOWN INTO A SOMEWHAT USEABLE FORMAT. GET A RHODE ISLAND ALMANAC OR SOME SIMILAR DOCUMENT THAT GIVE DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR THE STATE. USE THE RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE LIBRARY IN THAT IT SERVES AS A DEPOSITORY FOR MANY STATE DOCUMENTS. TEST YOUR THEORIES BY CROSSING THE DATA. REMEMBER, THE PAST DOES NOT MEASURE THE FUTURE, BUT IT COULD GIVE YOU INSIGHTS AS TO WHAT GROUND WILL BEST SUPPORT YOUR BATTLES.

As for strategy today, it will be interesting to see if the Raimondo camp has succeeded in getting the public labor unions to join with her. She has announced a cumbaya meeting, but the real stuff is happening in the back rooms. Labor, to join her campaign, will demand a high price. They are in a good position to bargain. She needs them and their money/support in that she has spent much of her campaign war chest in the primary.

She could look to her pals on Wall Street to replenish it, but with such scrutiny related to her venture capitalist past, it is unlikely that she can do it without causing a public outcry. This puts her at the mercy of the unions, and they can smell blood. My candidacy only exacerbates her problem in that while I am not a darling of the public sector unions, they can use me as the threat, since Fung has taken a somewhat intractable right to work position to appease his money sources.

The unions will hold out until Gina comes around, i.e. sells out the pension reforms she had made headway with. In reality, Gina has little choice than to kiss the public sector unions’ ring. They know it and she knows it. It is just whether it will get done in a way that would seem plausible to the public, whether it is or not.

In short, much like Sundlun did with the state workers, she has extended to the furthest ground and is now where she must compromise to settle it far down the road. If she can convince the unions that it will be ‘adjusted’ after the election, and if they believe her, she will get a modicum of support from the unions.

Any compromise made by Raimondo will be at the expense of the taxpayers, but if winning is the concern, the can will be kicked down the road.

While Gina has a gun to her head, the situation could turn. The unions have no real place to go and as such, need her as much as she needs them. If the unions overplay their hand, Gina could take the course of trying to go it without them, not the best nor winning strategy, but one that could impress the public, if only they still believe her (a uncontestable lawsuit that suddenly was in need of compromising).

If she makes her move early enough, people will forget.

From a third party point of view, watch for the signs that the opponent is moving in a direction and capitalize on the period of unease during the transition. This is the easiest time to trip up an opponent in that there is no set position and maybe a slip-up can either occur or be created. Not everyone on the field will have been informed of the marching orders in that it is not being done publicly.

Also worth noting is whether or not Gina will fully embrace Clay Pell. The media is abuzz about his recent endorsement of her campaign, but the matter may grow serious when she is asked directly if she will ever give him a role in her administration. It is her bargaining chip with the teacher unions who supported Pell. Inside bet is that his being in the education department of state government is the payment to the union support (although I think that the still maligned teachers will not forgive her). This is the interesting play of the week to watch. Beware of the shifting sand.

As to the campaign, we have received a formal invitation to the debates. They are the State of the State, ABC6, and WPRI. Channel 10 has not addressed this formally, but there is all indication that we will be invited to that debate as well.

We are getting and accepting many invitations to various forums. Also, we are in the process of turning old signs into new ones, trying to get the old platforms and documents up on the site to demonstrate how consistent my platform has been for the last twenty years, and working up an issue based strategy.

As to media, check out the GoLocal Providence piece. Also, Channel 10 News Conference on Sunday morning at 11:30.

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