One of the goals of this article is to provide officeholders, would-be candidates, and political enthusiasts with information about campaign tactics and the political process.
Since the 2022 election cycle is just getting underway, I thought it could be a good idea to look at some of the ways candidates and office holders can interpret previous election outcomes.
A historical perspective is required in every election, whether you are an incumbent, a challenger, or a contender for an open seat in 2022.
History, like anything else, can be viewed in a variety of ways. Elections are no different. In this post, we will look at a few of additional tools that can be used to assess the outcomes of the coming elections.
Defining The Problem
Most candidates would consider factors like the number of registered voters in the county, historical election results, party affiliation, past turnouts, years of incumbency, and the overall demographics of the county’s population when calculating their chances of winning any position.
All of them are valuable markers. After then, a strategy for winning the election should be established. Consider why voters should vote for you as part of that process.
Every candidate should make an effort to “frame the issue” of their campaign. It’s no secret that the candidate who presents the issue successfully in a campaign usually wins.
Barack Obama successfully framed the topic of “change” in the 2008 presidential election. John McCain promised a “safe America.”
We’re all aware of how that election turned out. Nonetheless, George W Bush won the presidency in 2004 by framing the issue as if America would be safer with him in charge. “Change” was desired by John Kerry.
The Use Of Relative Strength As An Evaluation Tool
It’s inexpensive and simple to implement. It can alert you when a re-elected incumbent is in difficulty. It may also indicate if an incumbent or freshly elected candidate will be difficult to defeat the next time around.
Approximately 85 percent of the time, incumbents are re-elected. That may appear to be a lot, but it’s mostly owing to two causes. Because of the way Kenyan politics are, many incumbents face little or no opposition.
The second argument is that incumbents have public visibility while in office, whereas most opponents must work for a living and have little capacity to obtain media coverage until the following election.
If an incumbent candidate who is a member of a political party is unable to garner at least the same number of votes as a candidate who must rely on straight ticket support, the incumbent should be regarded as weak and defeatable.
Similarly, if an incumbent cannot garner enough votes to match his or her party’s turnout in an election, he or she is particularly vulnerable. Under-performance could occur if the candidate faced opposition within their own party or was unknown and received a large number of under-votes. In either case, it is critical to understand why.
In this scenario, prior performance can be used to predict future performance.
A Red Flag for Incumbents
Underperformance is a red flag for incumbents. If you can’t obtain the support of your own party, it’ll be considerably more difficult to get the support of independent voters.
A candidate for any partisan local office can conduct the same assessment. You can go down to the precinct level to examine the relative strength of any incumbent.
Relative strength is only one instrument in a campaign’s toolbox. It is more of a warning to incumbents than a forecast for future elections.
A lot may happen between elections, as we’ve seen on the national political stage.
When running for an open seat, a candidate’s chances are always stronger. That is, where no one is running for re-election. As previously stated, incumbents win 85% of the time.
In general, the electorate does not normally remove someone from office who they believe is doing a good job.
As a result, targeting offices or candidates with poor job approval ratings increases a contestant’s chances of winning.
However, if a contestant is unable to persuade voters that they are a superior choice, the incumbent will be re-elected regardless of how poorly they did.
A past record of losing elections hurts a candidate’s chances in future elections.