Although electoral court political campaigns direct all their efforts to obtain the highest number of votes through various mechanisms, their themes and central messages try to communicate the best aspect of the candidate through their physical presence, clothing, attitudes and behavior; distinguish him from his competitor through events they organize, and the means to carry out the campaign, which project images and signals about the candidate’s suitability for the public position he seeks to obtain and his future performance in the position.
All of them must have a strategic plan that has fundamental characteristics: investigate the electorate to know their political expectations, know the candidate in-depth to enhance his virtues and reduce his defects, as well as know the perception of him, design a political proposal, communicational and advertising.
However, as in an investigation process, the steps to carry out an electoral-type political campaign are not rigid, and here is the key to ensuring victory. They should be adjusted according to the social mood that is lived in the campaign period. For this, it is necessary to include continuous evaluations of the results of campaign tactics and the feelings of the population on current issues.
Social mood in politics to win your electoral campaign
Evidence of this is the result of Obama’s presidential political campaign in 2008, which managed to turn his electoral preference in traditionally Republican states in recent years. Under a well-orchestrated campaign organization, they knew how to win supporters for Obama to become the 44th president of the United States, amid an adverse social mood due to the economic crisis that engulfed Americans in mortgage problems in 2008 and which registered a greater impact in Florida, to this was added the rejection of the foreign policy followed by former President George W. Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan, which led the Illinois senator to obtain the Hispanic vote in key states, such as Florida, and reach to the White House.
Obama and his team knew that the campaign would have to be managed differently, due to the context that was being lived. On that occasion, the party did not operate as it had been doing in previous elections: with a very traditional structure where there were chiefdoms and hierarchies in the cities and states, which fell to the middle and upper ranks of the party. In 2008, thanks to Obama’s vision of recreating political campaigns due to the unfavorable social spirit, his political project was promoted by a legitimate inclusive citizen movement.
The use of the context was clear in the state of Florida, which represented for the Democratic Party “a stone in the shoe”, ending that Republican curse, for that reason they made use of the economic and political adversities that the country was going through.
Ignoring the sentiments of the voters and the contextual conditions can lead to an inverse result than expected. In the electoral elections in Peru in 1991, the Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, spent 14 million dollars in advertising propaganda., which was not enough for the Nobel Prize in Literature to achieve victory at the polls. Alberto Fujimori won the victory due to his ability and that of his team to interpret the Peruvian social spirit and the political culture that did not know who to vote for, but was sure who did not want to vote for, that is, they understood the handling of the punishment vote : Peruvians did not vote for Fujimori but against the New Neoliberal Economic Policy represented in the figure of Mario Vargas Llosa.
It is time for political parties to stop relying on their “nose” to know the state of the opinion of the electorate and to adjust the communication strategy taking in considertation the social mood.