It’s the last weekend before the election and your e-mail and feeds are filling with requests for you to campaign for too many candidates in too many places. Problem is there’s only one of you and you gotta sleep and maybe look after family and work too. So many great democratic candidates, so little time… So ya gotta prioritize!
We’ve got literally millions of doors to knock and voters to phone, so we need to campaign for all of our candidates in the district at once, ‘cause we ain’t got time to walk our routes for each candidate. So if a candidate wants you to campaign just for them, remind them we’re a team and campaign for our whole democratic slate… If they refuse to campaign as a team, find another group to campaign with, we ain’t got time for prima donna candidates. Here in Minnesota we call this a “coordinated campaign” with every democratic candidate and campaign helping the others. At least that’s the plan, I’ve already had words with a congressional campaign that couldn’t be bothered to work with our local legislative candidates, so far they seem to have gotten the message.
You probably still got a bunch of choices left, so where do you want to campaign? Some of us live in districts where our democratic candidates will win easily or have little chance, so it’ll be a better use of your time to campaign in a more competitive district. For example, I live in southwest Minnesota in the 7th congressional district, where democrat Collin Peterson will coast to a win. Our two U.S. Senate candidates and all our other statewide candidates look headed for victory, with the exception of Keith Ellison and I don’t think we can help him much in this rural area. I’m in an R+12 state house district so even though we’ve got a great candidate this race is a long shot for us, so I’m in a pretty uncompetitive district. But next district on either side is purple and democrats won some races here as recently as 2012, we got great candidates in each, so I’ll probably be campaigning there. If we didn’t have competitive races there, 20 miles to my west is South Dakota where I’d love to campaign for Billy Sutton who has a chance to be SD’s first democratic governor in decades, and 60 miles south is Iowa where Steve King has worn out his welcome.
And if you can’t walk, every campaign will be phone banking too. If neither suits your talents, no campaign can run long without cooks, techs to fix the technology, gofers, and folks to haul out the garbage. Time wise, the greatest need for volunteers is on the weekdays, so if your available please volunteer then, especially on election day.
As in any other pursuit, victory in elections usually goes to the team that most efficiently uses their limited resources. So campaign smart, and win!