There’s a popular phrase during election season ,”all politics are local.” However, when looking at actual voter turnout, that’s not the case.
Midterm elections and local races fail to capture the imagination of Americans the way Presidential elections do. According to Victoria Mantzopoulos, professor at University of Detroit Mercy, “They think the president can change or alter the direction of the country. But local elections impact us the most in our day-to-day lives.”
In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, this “trend” has been going on since the 1840’s. Understanding this predictable voter behavior is critical to success at the ballot box, “Campaign strategists must decide how much effort to put into persuading independent-minded voters to come out and support their candidate without antagonizing their party’s core supporters, who are more likely to vote anyway.”
Speaking of expanding the base and engaging the electorate, as a nation, we have some work to do. 25% of those eligible to vote aren’t even registered. That translates to 62 million Americans.
Of the 150 million Americans who are registered, many will stay home this year (and every year for that matter).
According to the group Non Profit Vote, there are a variety of ways to connect and engage with voters. Best of all, voters are influential “they will likely influence at least one additional friend or family member to vote.”
Why does this work? Because individual voters are more likely to get involved when there’s a personal connection and there’s nothing more powerful then a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member or co-worker.
Another key aspect includes helping people visualize and rehearse the voting process.
Radio’s Presidential Election
Christmas music is radio’s own version of a presidential election. Huge turnout and passion without ongoing engagement. In fact last week, the New York Times ran a story about it, Radio Dusts off Mistletoe, in October. In the article, a variety of perspectives were shared including that stations can see an 87% increase in workday listening.
On the other side, “It’s like Starbucks saying, ‘We’re not going to serve anything but peppermint lattes for the next six weeks,’ said Tony Lorino, the program director at KZPT-FM in Kansas City, Mo. ‘For those six weeks, a lot of people are going to come in and get peppermint lattes, but somebody else who’s just looking for their regular coffee is really upset.’”
The key is having a strategy going into and coming out of the holiday book. After all, as Sean Ross recently described in a series of columns, dentist’s offices have more options than ever before.
For more information on how you can engage the voters who matter most to you, schedule a meeting with Andrew Curran, President and COO at DMR/Interactive.