When Your Internal Polls Go Upside Down

One campaign a RoboCent team member worked on was doing well in the polling for the first several months of the the operation. Door-knocking seemed to generate a positive response, events had good turnouts and the mood was good for the campaign. Then, seemingly without outside factors changing much, polls went in a negative direction.

The staff and candidate alike were confused— why did the tide change, and how could it have in the middle of so much winning momentum? The campaign ultimately never figured those questions out and lost by near double digits. Below are the lessons learned from that experience:

Stick to your core message regardless of polling results

The very nature of your data is that it is transient, but the convictions your campaign is built on cannot be. The aforementioned campaign in question went into a small panick when it discovered the poll numbers’ backwards direction, and began to “try out” different message tactics. If voters sense you’ve changed your message, they will lose trust in you.

Organize your campaign proactively

With an intentional organizational flow chart, your campaign can weather nearly any PR storm. Next week we’ll discuss this more, but your operation should employ paid/ volunteer (depending on scale) campaign reps at a block, neighborhood, city, town and state level. That way, when feelings about your campaign changes, your ear will already be prone to hear why and your voice will be ready to respond to that via direct contact with blocs of voter support. Sound too ambitious? Only if you don’t want to win!

Check in next Wednesday on how winning campaigns scale their operations with intentionality. Thanks for reading!