Thinking of running for office? Know where you stand/where you start

Thinking of running for office? Know where you stand/where you start

This time of year is often the time when candidates begin mulling over the thought of running for office.  Leadership from various state and national house and senate groups along with local and city groups have been in the process of contacting prospects who might be good candidates for office.  Those who have been approached and sometimes those who are considering running on their own must begin evaluating how they might do as a candidate.  Additionally, groups running initiative campaigns or considering referrals of votes must consider and take stock of the possibilities prior to launching efforts.

Knowing where you start and where you stand with the public becomes critical in evaluating the next step you take.  If you imagined yourself attempting to drive while blindfolded, it would not be a stretch to say that mistakes would be made. And rather quickly. The same idea applies to campaigns or organizations that spend time and resources on issues or messaging without having an idea of the general public’s view on the particular issue or the impact of the message campaign.

Resources are limited and every organization is on a budget. With that being the case, understanding how your efforts are going to be viewed or how difficult the challenge you’re facing in attempting to change public opinion is critical. It’s critical because public opinion can change the type of messaging that should be used. I’m not saying you need to change your views based off the results, just that different approaches need to be taken depending on the audience.
For example, if a large majority of the public agrees with you on an issue, you need to promote your views and ensure that they know you agree with them. On the other hand, if the public is skeptical of your position or outright disagrees with you, then your messaging needs to focus on persuasion as opposed to confirmation. If you move forward without understanding where the public stands, you could end up alienating the population instead of persuading them. You would be banging your head against a wall instead of climbing over it, so to speak.
Here are a couple tools available to assist you in “taking off your blindfold”, and different tools can be more effective than others depending on your situation.
Scientific Poll
These can be used to accurately ascertain the views of the public on various issues. Scientific polls can form the foundation in developing your strategy; what issues to bring up initially that the public generally agrees with, which issues will take more persuasion, etc. Action Solutions can do very affordable surveys using it’s automated technology!  We also do live collection of responses, too!
While often used in a pejorative context, push-polls can provide valuable information. If there’s an issue you want to address, but the public is skeptical of your position, a push-poll could help you determine which messaging would be most effective and which wording would be detrimental to your efforts.
Voter ID Survey
This is slightly different, but a voter ID survey’s value lies in its ability to identify individuals and their personal views on the issues as opposed to the views of a group. These can help if you are seeking to mobilize the segment of the population that agrees with you, or if you’re attempting to target those that are skeptical with persuasive literature or messaging. Action Solutions’ experience has been that VOTER ID SURVEYS are the ball game!!  These can help take you from the usual Republican methods of “SPRAY and PRAY” advertising to the methods the Democrats use that we call “DIRECT VOTER CONTACT”!  There is no more important thing that any group or party should be doing than identifying it’s potential supporters!  And automated methods are the least expensive.
If you have any questions or would like additional information concerning polling or voter ID surveys, contact Jeff Kubler, at or at 503-914-1082. You can also visit the website at
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