You never know which one is your last campaign. You always look forward to your next until reality says your last was your last. I can no longer climb the front steps of homes they build today. Without a safety railing, steps spell danger.
But without the ability to test what people are saying at their doors, you have no feeling for the campaign. Without listening to the why of peoples’ votes, you can never really forecast the outcome.
I remember in my last campaign, about a week before voting day and the only people in the office were the candidate, the campaign manager and myself. I was finishing entering some ground game results and the candidate and the campaign manager were discussing the opponents’ possible strategies on election day.
It was no surprise when the campaign chair asked me to run the ground game instead of asking me to be campaign manager. I was new to the city at the time and directing the ground game and teaching volunteers taught me a great deal about the city.
I realized that despite what the campaign manager was spending on polling, neither of them admitted that we were assured of a substantial win.
The mayoralty race had eight candidates. The incumbent was running but not putting up any effort. Two were conservative, one a previous mayor and another a previous member of the provincial legislature. Two candidates were nominal liberals, our guy and another sitting councilor. There were another three candidates in the category of ‘also-rans.’
Our guy was coming in first with about 40 per cent of the mayoralty vote. Second place was the former MPP because of his name recognition. I told them how the other candidates would do and even included the three ‘also-rans’ who might collectively get three per cent of the votes.
The campaign manager had his polls to support his view but in challenging my figures he made the mistake of ridiculing my figures for the three ‘also-rans.’ Since the three of us would never bet on our own race, it was safe to bet on those candidates. I made a ten-dollar bet with the campaign manager that these candidates would not get three per cent of the mayoralty vote.
It was mean of me to point it out to our team at the victory party, but the campaign manager had to pay on his foolish bet.
Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry
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