I have very little experience with politics so I may be the wrong person to try to advise the local GOP effort. However, sometimes it is good to get feedback from an outsider to gain more perspective. Hence, I decided to attend a few monthly GOP meetings following the presidential election failure. I was curious to see what was going on behind the scenes. Local GOP candidates did well this past election, but Obama won our country despite a GOP advantage over Democrats in the county by 12%. I provided the following feedback which has benn mostly ignored. Here were my points:
- Place all non-confidential information on their website (http://www.chaffeegop.com/). This is the best and cheapest marketing tool to get their message out. They talked about some interesting issues at meetings, but none of the information was placed on the website for the public to see.
- Place links to all the county officers on their website – and advertise their website on all of their campaign materials (signs, mailers, etc.). They have a decent website, but many people I know including me did not know it existed.
- I encouraged them to tie their website in with social media – allowing people to follow them on twitter and Facebook.
- Put a place on the website for people to sign up if they need assistance to get to the polls.
- Put a place on the website for people to volunteer to man phone banks and to drive people to the polls.
- I encouraged the organization to get more involved in the community. Advertise on the website to get people to volunteer at community schools, churches, and the Boys and Girls club. The GOP seems to be isolated from the community. This is the best way to win the trust of independent voters.
- I asked them to provide me with county voter registration lists and any voter data they have. Unfortunately, it seems the local GOP does not have any.
I volunteered to set up a county wide GOTV effort. I volunteered to evaluate local voter demographic data and statistics to create models and algorithms to place a probability on every eligible voter and the likelihood they would vote for a Republican. From this we can identify the right people to contact personally or by phone or email. I emphatically stated that the time is now to fix why we lost the last election. There is no reason any conservative presidential candidate should lose this county.
I have always been baffled by the fact when people show no urgency and procrastinate to find solutions and fix problems. I am baffled when people continue to go with the status quo and make no changes despite an obvious failure. I am baffled when people turn down volunteer help and suggestions. And I baffled by any election strategy that refuses to use data or statistics to run their campaigns (and these are the same people who were critical of project ORCA and the Romney campaign). This is essentially running blind. I find it hard to believe that an 18 member committee of GOP county officials is still running campaigns as if they were be conducted in the 1970s. Unfortunately, any effort to bring this group back to the 21st century has been ignored.
Finally, the other major issue I noticed is a big divide between the Libertarian and GOP members of the council.