In every election campaign it’s important to establish a pathway to victory for the candidate or party. Is there enough support to carry the candidate or party to victory right now and if not is there enough soft support or undecided vote out there to carry the candidate or party to victory come election time? In either case, given the degree of support, the nature of the support and what opportunities and threats for your candidate or party and those of other candidates or parties, what strategy needs to be employed to be victorious. Voter Gap Analysis and Voter Profiles, covered in the previous two sections, are the key components needed to establish a “Pathway to Victory”.
Supporters (Loyal or Otherwise)
If the candidate or party is in a position where support is higher than any other candidate ensuring these levels hold on election day and ensuring these supporters vote is the main task. However, the margin of support versus the next candidate or party is important to understand in order to access the risk with this strategy alone. If there is a wide margin of support and this margin is greater than the number of undecided voters and those that would consider the next candidate then the confidence is high and getting out base support can be the main focus of the campaign.
One of the measures discussed under Voter Gap Analysis was voters who “currently” are not voting for your candidate or party but when asked “would consider” voting for your candidate or party.
If support is similar or less than another candidate, however, adding “considered” support pushes your candidate or party over that of support and “considered” support of the top candidate, then a “pathway to victory” can be established. In other words, if there are enough “considered” supporters that can be moved to vote for your candidate plus counting on current supporters then victory can be had.
As was established under the section dealing with “Supporter Profiles”, there are many demographics , issue related, party support for other levels of government etc. that can be considered. In the case where support for your candidate or party is very high, establishing a “Supporter Profile” is very important in order to understand what communication strategy and other tactical considerations should be used. In the case where support is not high enough to win and the campaign must also rely on “considered” support establishing who these people are and what their profile is important to understand.