Across the country, candidates running for office are asking one central question: “Can I win?” The answer to that question is often complex, and begins with changing how the likelihood of success is defined. Conventional wisdom tends to rest solely upon moving your current level of support to a majority on Election Day. While clearly the end goal of a campaign is to reach the 50 percent plus 1 benchmark, this is just a final goal and not a means to an end. Instead, we should look at what the odds of success are and how we can increase those odds so that by Election Day we have moved the likelihood of success in our favor. At Lincoln Park Strategies, we utilize polling data not just to determine what people are thinking right now, but also to provide a long-term outlook that maximizes the odds of winning.
From a statistical standpoint, campaigns come down to increasing the probability that you will receive more votes than your opponent. Too often in the modern political campaign environment we equate spending money with this increased probability. The media is a willing accomplice in this dynamic, constantly reporting on money raised, who is up with ads, how many ads, how much was spent, and so on. There is very little discussion about who or what is actually changing likely outcomes.
In the simplest terms, this is where polling can, and should, play a major role in any campaign. It allows a campaign to understand not just where things stand and the mood of the electorate, but also to figure out voters’ attitudes on a specific issue, overall feelings about the direction of the area in which they live, how satisfied people are with their elected leaders, and how connected they feel to their current elected officials. This deep understanding will give a campaign an understanding of where it is today and what needs to change in order to increase the odds of success. In order to be a successful campaign, a true understanding of not just what people are thinking but why they hold these beliefs is critical.
From local school board races to US Senate races, Lincoln Park Strategies has helped out clients outperform expectations and find a way to cut through the clutter that tends to exist these days in most campaigns. We take great pride in our record of delivering highly accurate research and analysis no matter the size or scope of the campaign.
Click here to learn more about the way we think about political campaigns.