The Tea Party has thrived because of our current economic distress. It’s easier to build a movement when the conditions are right. But what do you do if the wind isn’t blowing in your favor?
That’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faced in his reelection campaign. Consider the following facts about Reid’s home state of Nevada:
- 14.2% unemployment (highest in the nation; national average is 9.2%).
- 1 in 69 homes in foreclosure (highest in the nation; VT lowest with 1 in 10,748)
- 70% of homes “underwater” with negative equity (highest in the nation).
Leading up to the election, Reid’s approval rating hovered between 30-40% among likely voters. For most politicians, these conditions would almost guarantee defeat. Yet Reid muscled out a 50-45 victory last week.
The effective use of grassroots communications was a major reason for Reid’s success. The Reid campaign had 70 paid staff and 3,000 volunteers focused on voter turnout. They put a headlock on supporters to get members to the polls. They knocked on 50,000 doors the weekend before the election.
Just imagine what your company or cause could accomplish with 50,000 doorknocks and 3,000 volunteers. Yet very few groups use these tactics when seeking to raise awareness, secure donations or participation in an upcoming event.
I don’t get it. If Harry Reid can use grassroots to get reelected under these abysmal conditions, you can use it too.