In every election cycle, a new bunch of Republican candidates crop up in Palm Beach County who are either unable or unwilling to get outside their comfort zone and spend time campaigning among independents and fiscally conservative Democrats.
In this, Palm Beach County Republicans are not unusual, and I only single them out because I live here and monitor local races closely. This behavior can be observed among losing candidates from either party in any area where a registration advantage must be overcome.
Given a choice, almost all candidates for public office would prefer to face a cheering crowd of partisan well-wishers. The problem in a county like ours is that Republicans don’t have that luxury.
Republicans account for only 29.4 percent of the registered voters in the county, while Democrats enjoy a 44.2 percent majority. Independents account for the rest, at 26.4 percent.
Given the hard, cold reality of those numbers, it should be painfully obvious to everyRepublican candidate that he had better get out to bipartisan community events and work hard to win over the independents and Democrats found there.
It is important for partisan candidates to solidify their base and recruit volunteers by making the rounds of local party events. But unless they’re facing a major primary opponent, Republicans would better serve themselves, and the cause, if they spent most of their time talking to people who don’t already believe the same thing they do.
Get out of the Republican bubble. I know, the bubble comforts. The bubble is safe. People in the bubble like you. It’s alluring, but it’s a trap, and you’ll pay dearly on Election Day for staying in that bubble.
Get out of the bubble and go get votes you don’t already have.
Spend your days and evenings working the room at civic associations, chambers of commerce, gun shows, etc. No matter where your district is, there is always some event where you can find regular voters. A good politician can walk out of any of these events with dozens of new votes.
I don’t have a lot of time for it these days, but I do enjoy going to Republican events. However, it is getting very close to the time where if I’m at a Republican event and I see a Republican candidate running countywide, or running in a district where there are more Democrats than Republicans, I’m only going to ask him or her one question:
“Why are you here?”
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