If you are reading this, it's likely you are highly involved in Democratic politics. You probably know the names of all your representatives from the top down. You can probably name the best and worst Arizona legislators and explain why each earns that ranking.
But the truth is we live in an "informed bubble", and most voters do not live in here with us. For example, we know the nuances regarding what happened during Red for Ed in 2018 when thousands of teachers marched on the capitol asking for a fair salary and funding for education. Ask an average voter though, and you might just hear "The Republicans gave teachers a 20% raise and all the Democrats voted against it." That's what we are up against.
In her latest Substack "The Cycle", Rachel Bitecofer does a great job of showing the data when it comes to tracking name recognition and favorability, and why the Republicans do a better job at making sure voters know the big players in their party.
Here, she shares how even after raising over $70 million dollars in 2018, 40% of Democratic Primary voters had no idea who Beto O'Rourke is. That's mind-boggling!
Rachel notes that "presidential nomination campaigns begin and end on name ID" and that's true. So what can we do as local activists to help turn the tide on this?
1 - Don't be afraid to talk politics with (friendly) family and neighbors. Let them know the big things that are going on and repeat the names of those involved. They may not remember everything you tell them, but they might remember the name and whether that person is a hero or a villain.
2 - When posting and sharing on social media, think twice about sharing the latest outrageous thing Donald Trump posted or did. When you see one of these posts, make it a personal policy to instead go find some positive news regarding one of those politicians in the chart above, or even better, one of our local Democratic candidates running in 2024.
3 - If you enjoy creating original content, dump Trump. Ignore DeSantis. Purge Marge. Don't add to their name recognition. Instead, make memes, graphics, or videos about the great things Joe Biden or our local Democratic political figures are doing.
4 - If you are running for office or working on a campaign, use social media to share short, simple facts and soundbites to let the local community get to know you or your candidate. Most voters will NOT to go your website. Take the facts on your website and create short impactful posts out of it. Record short videos reacting to what's going on and why electing you is the answer. Use humor to your advantage. Some of this, you can easily do yourself. For some, you would need to hire a marketing or graphic design person. But in this day and age, it is important to create a strong social media presence for yourself. Give us a steady stream of content to share.
We all know there has been a lot of craziness on the other side over the past few years. That's something all voters know, and they've all chosen a side already. We already know all the reasons we should vote against fascism and culture wars - why keep focusing on it? Lets inform the voters who have chosen sanity all the reasons they should be choosing to vote for Democrats outside of just not voting for the crazy.
Want to read Rachel Bitecofer's excellent post? Read more here
Now let's go out and promote our superstars and wins! This is one of the ways we succeed in 2024.