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A Good Book with a Vital Flaw...
on November 9, 2013
Full disclosure: I was a first time candidate who lost by about 8 votes so this may sound a bit like sour grapes.
I enjoyed this book and found it very helpful BUT the chapter on Winning It One Precinct at a Time (Chapter 16) suggests that the mere contact with voters (especially going door-to-door) will garner you 1.5 times as many votes (The book is also unclear of whether that includes actual contact or just leaving literature on the door of someone who is not home, etc.)
I made personal contact (the people were home) with about 120 folks and received 82 votes (I would've won with 90, this was a small time Fire Commissioners race). This does not include the work of some volunteers who helped me reach about another 100 voters for a total of about 220 voters (actually met). By the way, I had a great voter list of highly active voters.
According to the math of this book, I should've been able to pull in 330 votes, but instead I got 82. Being a newbie, I was counting on the formula that Mr. Grey presented in his book to win.
My main point is this: Don't rely on this formula...there are many factors at play. (In my case I was new to politics, new to the area, have a difficult name and come from a different ethnic background than the majority of the community)
My own thoughts are that if you are going to use a formula, make it one that predicts a fraction of the voters contacted rather than a multiple. In my case it was about 40% (Actual votes / Voters contacted).
Hope this helps!