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FreedomWorks put on another of its great FreePAC events on Saturday, October 13, this time in front of a crowd of 1,600 in Phoenix, AZ and 13,000 over the Internet. As is always the case, the combination of training session and freedom rally proved to be a winner.
The line up of speakers included Glenn Beck, with what many are calling his best speech ever. But I'd never heard Michelle Ugenti, Greg Abbott, Matt Salmon, or Jim Waring speak, and I came away impressed with all of them.
Two more FreePAC events will happen before the election: October 19 in Kissimmee, Florida and October 26 in Schaumberg, Illinois.Training Session
Amanda Shell was up first in the training session, talking about the humble staple of political campaigns, the yard sign. Signs, Shell said, can help establish name identification, especially in local races. They help with both the current election, and with elections in the future.
Yard signs remind people an election is about to happen. They help build momentum, as some people do vote on bandwagon effect.
Put signs everywhere you expect people to see them. Try to make your signs stand out and your opponent's signs blend in. There are both defensive and offensive tactics to consider: Since a bunch of signs from various candidates will be visual noise to passers by, you want to put signs next to any your opponent has put out, if possible, to blunt the impact of your opponent's signs.
Avoid cul de sacs and other low-traffic areas, but if a supporter requests a sign, make sure they get one.
You probably can't win an election with yard signs alone, but many have been won going door to door. Volunteers knocking on doors in their own neighborhood is the most effective means of getting out the vote (GOTV), because you have the most influence closest to where you live. But even knocking on doors far from home is more effective than any other kind of voter contact. It just takes a lot longer to make contacts.
The statistics vary depending on a lot of factors, but the standard figure is a vote for every 14 face-to-face contacts. In your own neighborhood among people who respect you, It may be much better than that.
But some areas simply can't be reached by door knockers. Rural precincts, bad weather, and lack of time make phone banking the only practical way to reach some voters. Telemarketer abuse and the oppressive number of political calls voters get close to an election make phone banking impractical for contacting everyone. The closer to the election, the harder it is to reach people by phone.
Here again, you are more effective calling people who know you, or with whom you have something in common, like living nearby. As I said during FreePAC Arizona:
Media -- The Air Game
Jackie Bodnar and Kristina Ribali covered old and new media strategy. To get information out to a broad audience, you need to know the ways to interact with traditional media. Bodnar explained, for instance, that in dealing withthe media, it's important to use the language of the people you're trying to reach.
One of the best uses of new media, both in local and national elections, is to gather volunteers. You won't reach many voters on Facebook or twitter, for instance, but since people are drawn to areas of common interest, you will interact with a high proportion of people who are interested in politics.
Key Votes and the True The Vote
FreePAC Arizona featured Easton Randall showing the uses of congress.freedomworks.org, where you can see how any Representive or Senator voted on each of ten key votes in a given year, and see their score for their whole career. It's also easy to see an entire state delegation at a glance.
Rather than present a recap of each speaker here are just a tweet or two from each speaker.
— Loren Heal (@lheal) October 14, 2012
— Loren Heal (@lheal) October 14, 2012
Music, movies and comedy.Winning the idea war must include winning the culture war.#FreePAC— Kristina (@KristinaRibali) October 14, 2012
The Arizona Republic wrote:
Glenn Beck hit the stage like a tornado, as noted by this story from the Arizona Republic: "Progress has never been made by a group of politicians in Washington. Real progress is made by average real Americans dreaming and then doing," he said.
This past weekend, FTR Radio covered the FreePAC event hosted by Freedomworks in Phoenix, Arizona. FTR Radio hosts Fingers Malloy and John Brodigan were live backstage with the FTR Radio Backstage Pass, bringing you a behind the scenes view and interviews with the people that make FreePAC one of the premiere grassroots activist training events in the country. The interviews that Fingers and John, along with Sarah Rumpf and Brandon Morse, did can be found right here at FTR Radio FreePAC Interviews. Also, if you're in the area, make sure to attend one of the next two FreePAC events taking place in Orlando and Chicago later this month. Go to FreePAC.com today to find out more.
Tom Borelli, Fingers Malloy,
and John Brodigan
Featured InterviewFingers Malloy and John Brodigan were honored this past weekend to be joined by Mr Glenn Beck of The Blaze T.V., who sat down to talk about how he started Blaze TV and some of the challenges and rewards he has faced in starting his own network. Make sure you take some time to listen to this interview with a true trailblazer of new media.
Be sure to join us at the FreePAC Florida and Illinois events.