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The five pillars of a winning campaign

Back in the day, as they say, there weren't enough Republican-leaning districts to make a majority in the state Senate. So we had to pick the best targets. Soon we developed the Five Pillars theory and learned that if we could outshine the opposition in three of the five, we'd usually win.

Candidate

One's attractiveness, biography, commercial success or resume doesn't matter. (The graveyard of forgotten candidates includes entire sections for telegenic newspeople, decorated soldiers, wealthy businesspeople and technocrats.) The best candidates are leaders who can recruit. So they will build their following into a crowd of volunteers, fund-raisiers and donors.   Without relying on the state organization (or in the case of Congressional candidates, the NRCC) for money and volunteers.

Money

It's now how much, it's how it's spent.  Which candidate can raise enough for the right campaign plan, and who can spend it most effectively?

Issues

You need at least two, and in 2020 the Democrats have gifted us both: silence in response to urban rioting, and early inaction on Coronavirus. These are health and safety are issues atop everyone's hierarchy of needs.

Organization

Strategy and execution. This where the rubber meets the road. Can you form the right strategy, target the right voters and then recruit the people, raise the money, and keep everything moving and on schedule?

Climate

Refers to the voting habits of the district and the mood of the electorate. Voting habits rarely change and turnout is the key. The all-important enthusiasm gap means a candidate is either riding a wave or swimming against the tide. For Republicans, 1984, 1994 and 2010 were important "wave" elections. (Keep your fingers crossed for 2020. Good signs everywhere.) Some districts aren't winnable except with help from a bad opponent or strong political tailwinds in a particular year. Some "safe" districts turn into expensive rescue jobs when we're swimming against the tide (as we did in 1982, 1990, 2006 and 2018).


The Filpac system enables the smart candidate to build the campaign organization that raises enough money to reach enough likely voters using issues that will make a difference. And thus overcome an unfavorable political climate (as in a D-leaning district).

  1. Filpac makes one a better Candidate by enabling focus on the potential donors and supporters who can make a difference.
  2. The prospect donor database, available in many states, provides a source of new Money that will pay for the Filpac system in the first few telephone calls.
  3. Filpac's list-building and micro-targeting features make it easy to communicate with individual voters about Issues important to them.
  4. Organization is the key to any successful political campaign or fund-raising effort. If yours is muddling along with a collection of spreadsheets, documents and index cards, you've probably noticed how the inefficiency could result in chaos. Filpac enables your political organization to merge your registered voters, contacts, prospects, contributors, and volunteers all into one central database, accessible to everyone in the campaign.
  5. Climate is all about the number of likely -- as opposed to unlikely -- supporters in a county or district. You don't know who these people are, but with Filpac's unique voter and precinct targeting features, you can at least determine where they live.