Thursday, June 9, 2016

A case study in cost-effective campaigning

So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”
John 6:12

Wayne Christian's campaign just released a fascinating write up about how they won their race on a shoestring (for a statewide campaign) budget:
MONEY SPENT:  Although Gates had proven himself to be a flawed candidate, his ability to self-fund was daunting. By the time the runoff was over, Christian was outspent nearly 10-1. 
Gary Gates:
Total Spent: $2,416,706.86
Total Raised: $35,854.16
Wayne Christian: 
Total Spent: $248,039.00
Total Raised: $248,039.00
THE STRATEGY:  It was apparent from day one, Christian would not have as many resources as Gates. To win, we would have to be deliberate and efficient in micro-targeting to make sure resources were only used on voters highest probablility to show up. Without a more high profile statewide race at the top of the ballot to increase the likelihood of a large turnout, we chose to narrow our voter targeting universe to just a handful of counties with other competitive runoffs.


By spending money only in areas where turnout was guaranteed to be inflated, the Christian campaign was able to maximize their voter outreach without having to spend at the same level as Gates. Much of Gates' spending was wasted on voters which didn't show up to vote, only having the Railroad Commission race to vote for.

When comparing Christian to Wheless, campaigns with similar endorsements and ballot placement, the difference between 49% and 51% had a lot to do with having additional resources to reinforce the third party messages. Endorsements and slate cards are important, but are rarely enough to secure victory.
Read the whole thing here.


As a point of comparison, during their successful runoffs in 2014 Dan Patrick spent a smidgen over $4.5 million while Ken Paxton spent several million as well.

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