Voter Falloff and Campaign Finance in Political Campaigns

How to Raise PAC MoneySometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how many votes you might need to win your political race, even if you do have the campaign finance tools in place to raise a lot of money. Your opponent might be an incumbent who has not had any opposition in the last couple times out. If that’s the case, you can look at recent election results from comparable races in nearby districts. For example, look at how many votes it took to get elected alderman in the adjoining wards when the race was contested.

Try to estimate the falloff rate, the voter fatigue factor, in your race. State and national races increase voter turnout, but these part-time voters don’t vote in all the races on the ballot. For example, let’s look at a sample city with 22,400 voters. In this city, only 14,700 of them voted for president in 2004.

There was also a race for state supreme court on the ballot, but only about 10,000 of them voted in the supreme court race. So although there were actually 14,700 people who wen to the voting booth, 4,700 of them, 32 percent, did not think the supreme court race was important enough to bother voting.

If you are in an “unimportant” race, sometimes called a “low profile” race, there will be this falloff in voter interest, and you have to know approximately how big it will be. No amount of campaign finance prowess is likely to help you overcome this voter dropoff at the polls. The good news is that while there might be a probable lower turnout for your particular political campaign election, that means you will need to get fewer votes to win the race.

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