Political roundup: Door knocking, mailers (and maybe yard signs) still key to winning elections | Michigan Radio
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Political roundup: Door knocking, mailers (and maybe yard signs) still key to winning elections

Aug 3, 2018

"If people want to support you by putting out a lawn sign, you best have them on hand for them," said Barnett.
Credit Scorpians and Centaurs / Flickr

Next Tuesday is primary election day in Michigan. That means come Wednesday, it’s time for general election campaigns.

But, how does a candidate actually win? What strategy will get them from primary winner to governor or attorney general or county drain commissioner?

Stateside talked to our Friday political commentators to try to get an answer to that question. Vicki Barnett is a former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants, and the former Republican majority leader in the state Senate.

Barnett and Sikkema both said that winning an election comes down to the basics: knocking on doors, television ads, and mailers. There are some big differences from his days of campaigning, though, said Sikkema. 

“I think today a candidate has to have a social media presence, pretty much at every level, from county commission on up to governor and U.S. Senate and even president," he said. 

Experts say that lawn signs, while ubiquitous, aren't all that effective in helping a candidate win. But Barnett says the signs are also about giving your supporters what they want. 

“People love lawn signs. Lawn signs don’t vote. But they do show a level of organization for a campaign,” she said. 

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