The best way for a candidate to increase favorability among voters is to run a positive campaign
Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron ignored this little nugget of advice last night as their Presidential debate turned ugly with each candidate using the stage to berate the other in front of a large audience.
He said she was telling lies. She called him arrogant. He accused her of repeating “stupidities.” She cut him off and told him not to lecture her. He shook his head sadly, and she laughed sarcastically.
“The high priestess of fear is sitting in front of me,” Mr. Macron said derisively, having cast his opponent as a dangerous extremist with deep ties to her party’s dark past. He made a point of repeating her name, to remind viewers of her parental filiation: her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded the National Front and is associated with its historical posture of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and stigmatization of immigrants.
You are the France of submission,” Ms. Le Pen said with scorn; Mr. Macron was merely a heartless banker, in her view. “We’ve seen the choice you’ve made, the cynical choices, that reveal the coldness of the investment banker you have never ceased being.” Yes, it all got quite ugly, quite quickly. We expected it, given the current climate in France and the election being so close but would such ferocity fly in a smaller, local election?
Practice Pleasant Politics
Imagine the scenario: You are running in a local election, you have one, maybe two, candidates running against you. It’s going down to the wire according to a local polling station. Your campaign team hint at going negative in your campaign messaging, defame the opposition they suggest, do you?
At what cost? When it comes to small and local elections, keep it pleasant. We have always spoken about the two tiers of elections, you have the small campaigns and then you have the TV campaigns.
Small campaigns are where the community is important from start to finish. You must remain on message and you must show respect at all times. You can't go around bashing your opponent and their background because local politics is all about pulling together. You never know who you will have to work with on a council or committee next.
No need to go negative:
Positive rhetoric is encouraging, not only for potential voters but it also has a positive impact on your campaign team. Smaller campaigns rely heavily on volunteers and many people would rather be associated with a positive campaign compared to a negative one. Candidates represent much more than themselves, they stand for their family, their financial backers and their communities. Being seen to criticize your opponent isn't something you should waste valuable campaigning time on, focus on your mandate instead.
Studies have shown that personal attacks between politicians depress voters intentions to participate in elections. People who don't recognize the importance of having an effective GOTV strategy won't go far anyway and in tight elections, it is door knocking and not character bashing that will land you votes. If you would like to plan an effective door knocking strategy, click here.
Respect voters intelligence:
Voters can see beyond the point of negative campaigning nowadays. It shows panic when you go after other candidates and try to detract from the politics. Voters want to see action and they will cast their vote for the people they believe will back up their talk.
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