While most of what we cover here has to do with the actions you take before election day, today we are going to focus on what good candidates should do after all of the votes have been tallied. Whether you win or lose your local election, analyzing the results of your race can help you run even better political campaigns in the future.
As a former political consultant and current elected official, I start analyzing my local election results as soon as they come in on election night. Here are some of the elements that I look for: which precincts I performed the best in (and the worst); where my opponents got more votes (and where I got more than they did); which precincts had the highest turnout (and which had the lowest).
These are just a few of the things that you can include in your local election analysis–and don’t think that you need to analyze your results as soon as they come in like I do. On election night, especially if it’s the first time you’ve run for office, your focus should be on one thing: whether you are winning or losing.
Once the excitement has died down, though–maybe even a few days or a few weeks after the election–take some time to look at the voting results and see how things played out precinct-by-precinct and ward-by-ward. Did you end up getting a higher percentage of the vote in precincts where you spent more time campaigning? Were there any precincts where you did better than you thought you would? Overall, was turnout higher or lower than you anticipated?
Answering these questions and more will give you a lot of insight when it comes to your strategy for the next campaign–whether you are running for re-election or giving it another shot after coming in short the first time.
The data that you get from running for office the first time–whether you win or lose–is extremely valuable, and will allow you to run an even better local political campaign next time around. Make sure that you don’t skip the local election analysis after all of the votes have been tallied, whether you do it on the same night or a few weeks later.