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Using Defeat As Fuel For Victory

You always hear the story of the person who experienced epic failure early on in their career which ultimately inspired them to go on and do tremendous work. Take, Oprah, Walt Disney, even Albert Einstein, they all failed the first time around. When it comes to campaigning, the mentality is no different, if at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying”

Losing is harder to prepare for, harder to deal with, and a hell of a lot harder to bounce back from, but it does make for a great story. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln lost 8 different elections and had a nervous breakdown before becoming President of the United States in 1860? Loser? I don’t think so.

Successive loss can obviously destroy some but for others, it propels them forward. Following his controversial loss in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore went on to have a renaissance of sorts in his career. He won 539,000 more votes than George W. Bush in 2000 but lost the presidency, becoming the symbol of an aggrieved party that believed the 2000 election was stolen. A radical transformation took place within the Washington native, he became passionate and honest and devoted to issues he actually cared about - remember that Ozone Layer business?

You Lost An Election, What Do You Do Next:


Debriefing after an unexpected loss is really important. It will be fresh in people's minds where you could have lost ground and it is also a critical time to decide your next step. Opportunities can crop up in the face of defeat, maybe jobs you didn’t intend on considering. What many don’t know is that Gore also campaigned for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in 1988, losing out eventually to Michael Dukakis. He went on to serve as Vice President during the Clinton Administration.

Sometimes the role you campaigned for just wasn’t meant to be, remember you can enact change in various different roles.

Research & Get To Know The Voters Better

If you decide to run for the same position again, well done! You have a lot of the ground work done but now you need to re-engage with the voters and figure out what didn’t work the first time around.

You can start simply by putting up a status on facebook, detailing your reasons and acknowledging the areas you can improve on. You can take a more formal approach and go around canvassing or even make an appearance at a local event. The main goal is to increase visibility, don’t go away!

If You Are Hung Up On Data, Be Hung Up On The Right Stuff

Like many past candidates, you have probably got a significant amount data gathered about your voters. The trick here is to siphon out the important stuff. Trawl through your surveys, the past voting records, if people promised you the vote but clearly didn’t follow through in certain areas, then you will need to understand why they dropped off. To understand the basic figures you need to be aware of for running for office, check this is out.

Prepare For Battle

After enjoying a record high of 6 TDs elected in the 2008 GE in Ireland, the Green party was wiped out in 2011. Such a devastating blow not only saw them lose all their sitting TD’s but it also saw them lose all their funding. They had to go back to the drawing board and rely heavily on a large voluntary effort. In 2016 they gained some momentum and won back 2 seats in the names of Eamonn Ryan and Catherine Martin. They had spent 4 years in the run up to the 2016 election canvassing and this paid dividends when it mattered most.

Politics is a tough game and not for the faint hearted but if you are willing to put in the hard yards then you will reap the rewards.

If you want to learn more about the functionality of Ecanvasser and how we can help you take 2017 by the scruff of the neck, why not pop over to our training page The Campaign Blueprint.

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