If you’ve ever considered running for local office, then following election news from across the country is one of the best things you can do to learn how to run a good political campaign. Watching the successes and failures of other candidates is a great way to formulate your own winning campaign plan, and after years of following election news you’ll start to develop a feel for what works and what doesn’t work in political campaigning.
While reading election news in your local newspaper is fine, you shouldn’t stop there. The Internet puts thousands of online publications at your fingertips, and there are great political sites out there that aggregate the best political campaigns stories from around the country every day.
You can get your election news from websites and blogs that lean in one political direction or another; there are countless examples of unabashedly partisan political opinion sites online, and there’s nothing wrong with following what they have to say.
Regardless of what your political leanings are, though, make sure you do your election news gathering pragmatically. If you’re interested in learning about the art and science of political campaigning, try to find news sources that report election news as impartially as possible. If you get details about a particularly interesting race on a right-leaning website, then try to see what some of the left-leaning sites are saying about it, as well.
Remember: as a potential candidate, you need to look at election and campaign news with a much more scientific eye than most armchair fans of politics. Take note of political campaign tactics that appeal to you–even if they’re used by candidates on the other side of the aisle–and think of ways to apply those strategies to your own future campaign.
If you think that the strategies used by Congressional, Gubernatorial or even Presidential political campaigns can’t be applied to your local election, think again. If you like something that a large campaign does, then there’s probably a way to apply something similar–albeit smaller and less far-reaching–in your own local campaign. Remember: many of the best ideas in political campaigning are just adapted from other campaigns (some would say “stolen” from other campaigns, but I guess that’s semantics).
Making a habit of following election news from around the country isn’t just entertaining for those of us who love political campaign updates; it’s also a great way to get brilliant ideas to use in your own local election efforts. Start taking a few notes on what’s working for other candidates around the country and “adapting” their techniques for use in your own campaign.