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In today’s elections, a significant role is played by young voters, so the consideration of partisanship and the young vote is critical to the success of any campaign strategy. It is an absolute necessity to target young voters between the ages of eighteen and twenty nine because their citizenship is numbering approximately 44 million. In an effort to build long-term political power, this young vote will be aggressively pursued since this vote will shape the way these voters vote for decades (“Rock the Vote 5”).
Taking on the task of campaign advisor for the Democratic Party 2012 presidential campaign is no easy job. This task requires being very well organized, efficient, effective and running a successful campaign based on positive purpose and poise. With that in mind, I plan to devise some extremely effective strategies on how to obtain and secure votes for the Democratic Party presidential hopeful on Election Day 2012. With careful planning and the ability to stay focused, the Democratic Party will be victorious.
It is crucial that the young voters are not neglected. They must be made aware of how their votes, views and opinions are important to the growing and ever changing economy.
My decision on a party identification was molded by the views of my parents. When I was young, I recalled proclaiming to my mother that when I grow up I will choose the party that my mother was clearly and adamantly against. Needless to say, she gave me a look and a lecture as to why my decision should reflect hers. I share this information with you because I’m absolutely sure I do not stand alone in how I chose my political party. Family plays a significant role in how their child will choose a political party.
In Flanigan and Zingale’s “Partisans and Partisan Change,” “more than two-thirds of the electorate identify with their parents’ party if both parents had the same party identification. . . Children pick up the partisanship of their parents while young. . .” (104). Although, the child’s decision is subject to change once he or she becomes of age to vote, it is important that candidates ensure these voters that they are important and that their voices will be heard. The campaign’s mission is to not only to obtain the young vote but also to transpose these young voters from being weak partisans to strong democratic votes. This would not only make certain presidential triumph but could also assist the Democratic Party in regaining control of the House in the next congressional election. “Strong partisans are also more likely to vote in all kinds of elections than are either weak partisans or independents. In fact, one explanation sometimes offered for the low turnout in the late twentieth century was the declining partisanship of the American public” (Flanigan & Zingale’s 93).
I plan on using sources such as door to door visits, phone calling, and town hall meetings within colleges and universities and social networks to introduce the president. Through these devices the youths will be notified of president’s agenda, accomplishments and how his presidency will not neglect them but, address concerns for the economy. It is also important that education, tuition, employment, health care cost and global warming are spoken about with certainty and absolute reassurance and that the direction the president is taking is best for them and generations thereafter and not just an immediate and temporary solution. The strategies used to engage the youths are not only cost effective but also informative for the voter and the volunteer. Youths need information and guidance, their voice needs to be heard, and their opinions are also vital to the campaign. We must stay mobilized.
Canvassing neighborhoods with door to door contact is an effective strategy. Each neighborhood will be approached by someone of the same ethnic background. This will help to instill a sense of commonality among the two. It has been studied that canvassing has been known to produce a habitual voter (“Young Voter Mobilization Tactic” 7). According to the research in “Young Voter Mobilization Tactic,” “Overall, we consistently found a 7 to 10 percentage point increase among young voters contacted through a door-to-door canvass- a good reason to keep young voters on your walk lists. Canvassing is especially beneficial in dense student neighborhoods and apartment buildings where you can reach more people in less time. . .” (9).
Phone calls are also an excellent method in producing a huge voter turnout on Election Day. It has also been noted that calls consisting of a live person with a more conversational approach is effective and also informative for the voter of the candidate’s agenda (“Young Voter Mobilization Tactic” 12). A study showed that “on average, good phone call campaigns generated a 2 to 5 percentage point increase in turnout” (“Young Voter Mobilization Tactic” 13).
We live in an era where technology is a vital source of everyday living. There is no avoiding it from a 5 year old playing with handheld games to a 60 year old having to conform to the new electronic ballot machines. The use of technology is inevitable therefore this campaign will ardently focus on this area. This is why I propose the use of on online social networks like: Face book, My Space, and Twitter. Today’s youth spend more time online checking their social network pages and emails so it is critical that I tap into this group. The campaign will take advantage of these websites and create an open chat and group forum where the youths can collectively express their ideas, concerns, interest, and complaints regarding their political preference. Via these websites, detailed information about the president’s initiatives can be presented to the readers. As per the poll conducted in 2006 in “Rock The Vote” it showed that “88 percent of 18-29 year olds are online (compared to 32 percent of those 65 and older); 70 percent of 18-30 year olds use the Internet daily and two-thirds check their email daily; About one-quarter of 18-30 year olds use communications such as Face book or instant messaging. . .” (5).
Image is an important aspect of my campaign. In 2008, Barack Obama was sold to the masses as a young and vibrant candidate that will produce change in American politics. By doing so, it was easier for the Democratic Party to sell the idea to young voters and in earnest produced a higher voter turnout within the population of the young. It is essential that the voters can relate and share common interests with the candidate. As it was best stated in a reading by Flanigan and Zingale, “Vote Choice and Electoral Decisions,” “The voter would feel a sense of displacement if they are unable to make a connection with the candidate. Partisanship and party imaging are not synonymous, however, because individuals often hold unfavorable perceptions of their party without changing party identification yet, at some point, negative images of one’s own party or positive perceptions of the other party undoubtedly lead to partisan change” (221).
Not only is image an important factor in this campaign but also public opinion. The president and the entire campaign body must be made aware of what the public will and will not tolerate. This is vital information that is undoubtedly imperative to have. It is noted that past presidents have relied on public opinion polls to educate them on citizens’ thoughts and how such opinions can help the President create a strong following (Kernell Jacobson & Kousser 446). “Party identification, like other attitudes, affects beliefs as well as opinions. Attitudes introduce bias into perceptions and interpretations of political information because people tend to pay more attention and give more credence to information that confirms rather than challenges their beliefs following” (Kernell Jacobson & Kousser 472). This is why the president should conduct various polls of himself pertaining to his views and policies. He must also be aware of the polls conducted on the opposing candidate and have a keen awareness of the attitudes, beliefs, thinking, social issues and predispositions of the public. Anything that may affect the campaign for greater good or worst should be known. Public opinion is essential knowledge or else the candidate is running a blind campaign.
Many qualities and attributes are needed to run a successful campaign. The relationship between the candidate and his party with the public is vital to the campaign. Image, his views on issues and policies are what may connect or disconnect him from his voters. Communication is essential; the campaign must focus on a set of targeted voters and stay focused until the task is accomplished. Everyone must be aware of his agenda in order to do so the candidate himself must know what drives and motivates his voters to vote.
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