[audio:http://campaignsigns.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Cresting-your-candidate-lawn-sign-strategy-on-Election-Day.mp3|titles=Cresting your candidate lawn sign strategy on Election Day]
Today we’re going to talk about something really important for a lot of campaigns and I’ll use an example of this phenomenon in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. I was out in Iowa supporting Howard Dean for president.
You could tell about two weeks out he was getting a lot of positive reaction at the doors. This was one of my first campaigns volunteering day in and day out. First presidential campaign I mean. I was out there knocking on doors, making phone calls, and you could tell there was a lot of really positive reception a couple of weeks out, but then things started to turn.
And with each day, the reaction that you were getting on the door and on the phone and from other volunteers was that the mood was getting sour for Howard Dean. By the time the Iowa caucuses happened, John Kerry had won and the reason why was Howard Dean crested his campaign a couple weeks too early.
Ideally, you want your campaign to crest on election day. You want the most support that you’ve ever gotten on election day. Sometimes you hear in political circles you hear “if the election were held today who would you vote for?” This is a common question in public opinion polls. For Howard Dean if the caucuses were held maybe two weeks before they were held they might have won. But they weren’t and you don’t want that to happen in your campaign either.
Because if you crest too early or never even gotten to that point of cresting, you’re at least leaving a lot of votes on the table and perhaps losing the race because of it. What that means for your yard signs strategy: you want to make sure that your yard sign distribution is slowly building. Have a strategy to it.
By the time election day rolls around you want to have delivered all of the signs that you wanted to deliver, when you wanted to deliver them, and where you want to deliver them. If you don’t have a strategy behind what you’re doing with yafd signs or other aspects of your campaign, you are going to crest too early or never crest at all.
That’s why it’s important to have a some sort of strategy by where you are going to strategy yard signs in the district, how you are going to do it. Know what your campaign yard sign budget is, spend that money, and then distribute those signs in a way that is going to maximize their value and isn’t going to crest too early or you’re going to leave votes on the table by not cresting late enough.
That means if it’s election day and you have a stack of yard signs in your basement or campaign headquarters, you didn’t do the distribution you needed to do to crest on election day. The converse is true; if you have run out of yard signs two months before the election and you’re forced to reorder them, turnaround time is slow because you are in the heat of the election season, and you maybe needed some changes, or you had to skimp on how you are doing the yard signs now, then you’ve crested too early with your yard sign strategy.
So it’s important to be giving yard signs out in a methodic manner in a way that makes sense for your district and your campaign. Good luck with this strategy. Take these tips to ensure that you are going to crest on election day and not after. Good luck! This has been another episode of the Campaign Trail Yard Signs podcast.