3 Questions Every Campaign Should Be Pondering Right Now

The #BlueWave2018 has reached October, which means we're in the homestretch. Successful campaigns will have made the big decisions ahead of time. Nevertheless, there are always October surprises, budget adjustments, and other factors to carefully consider at this very moment.

Every Democratic campaign, big and small, should be pondering these three questions right now...

1) Will there still be a "Brett Bounce"?

Several polls during the Kavanaugh confirmation battle noted that the controversy was exciting Republican voters about turning out in November. Democrats (including women planning to vote for Democrats) were already extremely enthusiastic before the troubling revelations about the newest Justice came out. But almost losing a Supreme Court seat seriously angered the Republican base. Will that trend continue now that he's been confirmed, a month ahead of Election Day?

2) When it comes to GOTV targeting, how low-propensity is too low this time?

Make no mistake, Democratic turnout this year will be high for a midterm election. Voters who normally don't come out will come out, especially if encouraged by a well-executed GOTV program. But is it worth it to target a voter who has never showed up for a non-presidential race? What about a voter who hasn't voted a single time in the last four cycles? And what about 3/4 voters? (Voted in 3 of the last 4 general elections) Should they be considered a lock and removed from the GOTV list?

3) Do we have our spending priorities right?

This is a question we ask toward the end of every election cycle, but this year especially. It's the first Democratic wave year where digital advertising is a major budget item. New innovations like over-the-top (OTT) distribution are making up for the decline in TV viewership. Easily-accessible ideology models have made direct mail targeting better and better. And of course, the big question: Do we focus our resources on persuading independents, or do we need to focus more on turning out angry, non-midterm-voting Democrats?

Of course, we don't have any blanket answers to these questions. Every campaign is different and will need to approach these questions in a way that best fits their situation.

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