Politics, policies and technology are forcing both political parties to rethink how they interact with potential donors and voters. We even saw how technology has changed the State of the Union as seen on WhiteHouse.gov earlier this week. However, despite advances in technology and on how campaigns reach out to voters, it is still the message that matters most. it is difficult to vote for someone or for a political party if we do not know what they stand for.
In 2014, Sean Spicer was the RNC Communications Director at the time, sent a memo to GOP supporters about the new Republican Campaign Strategy.
In the past, the committee would spend an off year accumulating cash and then, during the election year, we would continue stockpiling cash until the last 90 days. ... That strategy is both outdated and ineffective. - Sean Spicer, 2014
The Republican Party worked to re-invent the political ground game to focus on voter-engagement year round, particularly in communities where their message has yet to penetrate, including in the Hispanic, African American and Asian Pacific communities.
That year, Republicans took a number of state legislatures and Congress, but not The White House. After the 2014 Election, the Democratic National Committee re-evaluated their message and their ground game so that history would not repeat itself.
The DNC invested in their infrastructure, renegotiated contracts and increased their training.
In November, 2015, the DNC issued a report outlining their strategy and their key messages. The Democratic Victory Action Plan was designed to help Democrats reinforce their history, focus on their strengths and ultimately convince an electorate to vote for the Democrats.
However, in a presidential election year, it is the candidate who defines the party. Yet, both parties today lack a clear message as to what they stand for and why you or I should vote for a Republican or a Democrat.
This has contributed to a disjointed style of communicating through long lists of policy statements, which are not well understood or embraced by voters (even though many support the policies and issues we champion). The lack of a cohesive narrative impedes the Party’s ability to develop and maintain a lifelong dialogue and partnership with voters. -- Democratic Victory Action Plan
Campaigns are an opportunity for "We The Voter" to get to know the candidates a little bit better and our chance to educate the candidates about the issues important to us.
It looks like both parties will have to go back to the drawing board, figure out what they stand for, what the opportunities and challenges are for the American People and then form a coalition of support to broadcast their message above the campaign rhetoric of political debates.
In the end game, the success of a campaign is not based on cash alone, it is based on a victory and in coming in first. To win, We The Voter, still need to understand who the candidates are, what they stand for and what they will stand for once elected.
With the first caucus just days away, the American People are still waiting.