Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—Leading with values & issues

Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—Leading with values & issues

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. This series has been focused on how to build and develop campaigns and successful activism efforts.

As we gear up for the 2018 cycle, there are a lot of theories on how and why voters vote, what compels them, what gets them to the polls, and what strategies are effective. This week, we’re talking about how to lead with your values, and how those values, sometimes more than the party brand, define you and open you up to success or failure.

In 2014, and again, it appears, in 2018, candidates like Greg Orman, above, tried a third way: running as an independent. The argument voiced by some is that there is a large base of voters dissatisfied with the parties that hope to tap into a third way. Orman, a strong pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-LGBT rights candidate tried to bridge the gap by also being in favor of privatization of government services. He had hoped that this socially liberal, fiscally conservative policy could define a new way for independents. Republicans and even some Democratic members, however, viewed him as probably the most socially liberal candidate to ever run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas, making him the defacto left-wing, Democratic option, assured that he would go to the senate to appoint pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights judges. However, some who voted for a Democratic candidate running for governor couldn’t make that transition and vote for Orman because they were defined by being Democratic members, and his rejection of the label said that he, well, wasn’t.

While Orman’s race in 2014 and races like McMullin’s potential run in 2018 give us some insight into marketing vs. the marketplace desires, it also puts a great backdrop to our discussion this week: voters vote for a unique combination of party, candidates, and values. This week, we’re going to talk about why you lead with your values.

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