Doing research is an often overlooked part of a campaign. We develop a message, start raising money and off we go. The compressed timeline of a campaign gives candidates a sense of urgency - there's no time to do lengthy research, we have to get moving.
But thorough research in a few areas is a must. Here's an example of a failure to research a race effectively:
A few years ago in a local race for Executive, the challenge candidate David Price - who had a stellar record in law enforcement and as a state legislator. The incumbent, Malcolm Davis, was limping along after scandal followed by scandal. The contrast could not have shaped up better for the challenger.
Price performed well in the primary, and looked poised to knock off a rising star in the Democrat party. But Price failed to mention something to his consultants - when he was 21 and a newly minted police officer, he got in a minor altercation while off duty with a the local police. He didn't violate any laws, but the officer he argued with filed a complaint with Price's superiors, which ended up in his personnel file.
You can guess what happened next. Davis put together an effective ad blasting Price for being a hypocrite, a dirty cop running as a choir boy, and it worked. Davis won convincingly.
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