What does the "Why" have to do with the campaign?
In “Start with the “WHY” Simon Sinek postulates that the key to lasting success both in business and in politics lies in putting the "WHY" first. It actually is easy to spot in corporations like Apple or Southwest Airlines and in politicians like Trump and Bernie Sanders once you analyze them with this idea in mind. Customers/voters become loyal and typically become Promoters/Advocates. They no longer compare the product feature by feature, or they no longer question every vote a candidate casts. (more about Sineks idea on YouTube https://youtu.be/qp0HIF3SfI4)
Why bring that up?
Campaigns organized around the “WHY first” principle will gather loyal supporters who will stick around, get friends involved, and be passionate about the WHY. The supporters of many successful campaigns are in it as much for themselves as the candidate! A good example was the many school board races in 2021 – the “angry moms” were in it for their kids and they did whatever it took to get their candidate elected to stop the craziness. Glenn Youngkin in VA was a great example. A candidate in 2022 needs to identify and articulate their cause to engage and activate their supporters - like "no CRT in our classrooms". The supporters need to believe that the candidate will further the cause and that she is genuine about it.
When a campaign creates a relationship with the supporters, relational organizing is a perfect tool to exponentially grow the supporter base. Now the campaign is asking people to talk to their friends about a cause they already believe in and they feel good for helping the cause and influencing their friends. The typical challenge for a relational organizer in the conservative environment is we are not necessarily mindless followers but like the moms, the WHY became more important and it was no longer mindless following. Supporters felt connected and empowered to make a difference backing the candidate that would spearhead their cause or their WHY. In that case, the advocates/volunteers promote the candidate to further THEIR cause and they will share with their friends, discuss the cause with them and they will recruit their friends to join the cause.
Who is winning this game?
Until 2021 in School Board races and in VA & NJ, I would say the Democrats had been winning in the cause-based activism and winning elections. Democrats had been using WHY-based messaging and relational organizing strategy to win since the first labor strike and have now adopted technology around it on a broad scale. They have experienced much success with it – Stacy Abrams Georgia initiatives were 100% relational organizing based; of the several hundred other examples. However, what we saw in 2021 are lessons we need to remember. When we can rally around the WHY and the candidate or organizing is the spearhead, we win. Keeping that in mind will translate into wins in 2022.
Is Relational Organizing for you?
One thing is for certain, campaigns are rapidly changing and your Democrat opponent is organizing their volunteers around relational principles as well as around the idea of a movement. As conservatives, we can not believe how they can accuse a Pro-Life group of being a hate group, but they do and they get the response and a ton of energy to mobilize that way.
I remember as a teenager in Germany asking my father "why did you let this happen". Buzz360's WHY is to keep America free so our kids don't have to ask us that question.
To learn more about Simon Sinek.