Florida District 15 Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Political Savvy

Winning the Election in Florida's 15th District

Running and winning a political campaign today has moved steadfastly from issues to an overwhelming focus on how much money a candidate can spend. In most political races, the dollars allocated to a campaign far exceed the salary that will be paid once the successful politician is voted into office.

With this in mind, it is important to understand that in order to win an election in Florida's 15th district it is key that a campaign strategy is designed and expertly implemented. The strategy must focus on maximizing the impact of the candidates message to the people, generate as much frequency to voters in the district as possible and keep advertising costs to an absolute minimum.

Before we focus on the campaign it is important to analyze and understand the needs and trends of voters in Florida's 15th district. According to the 1990 U.S. Census Bureau, the 15th district has a population of 562,519. The median household income is $29,755. The district is comprised of 277,222 men and 285,297 women. Demographics for individuals of legal voting age are as follows:

18 to 20 years

21 to 24 years

25 to 44 years

45 to 54 years

55 to 59 years

60 to 64 years

65 to 74 years

75 to 84 years

85 years and over The median age for district 15 is 37.4 years. There are 104,353 voters age 65 years and over which comprises 18.6% of the districts total population. The total number of household in the district are 226,294. 59.3% of these households are family households (160,737) and married-couple families (134,159). The racial mix of Florida's district 15 is as follows:



Percent of total population

American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut

Percent of total population

Asian or Pacific Islander

Percent of total population

Other race

Hispanic origin (of any race)

Percent of total population

The district is currently represented by U.S. Representative Dave Weldon (R), who is a medical doctor. According to Weldon's website, he is from Melbourne, Florida, and is an Army veteran and physician who was elected to his first political office in November 1994 to serve the people of Florida's 15th Congressional District. As a practicing physician and Army veteran, his background and expertise have been called upon on numerous occasions in key debates, policy discussions, and leadership positions. Dave Weldon is the first medical doctor to be elected from the State of Florida and is the first Republican physician and only the second physician ever to serve on the prestigious House Appropriations Committee. He is also the first representative from the East-Central Congressional district of Florida to be appointed to the Appropriations Committee. Rep Weldon's subcommittee assignments include: the District of Columbia; Labor, Health and Human Services and Education; and VA/HUD and Independent Agencies which oversees NASA's funding. In previous years, Rep. Weldon served on the House Science Committee, the House Banking, Financial Services Committee and the Government Oversight and Reform Committee. He was also Chairman of the Civil Service Subcommittee. Rep. Weldon also served as Vice Chairman of the Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, where he represented the interests of his constituents at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Station, and surrounding aerospace community. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Congressional Aerospace Caucus. Rep. Weldon also served as a member of the Committee on Education Workforce during the 104th Congress. (U.S. Representative Dave Weldon, M.D.)

The following campaign strategies are outlined in seven steps. They were designed to target democrats or undecided voters who will have an impact in the outcome of the election in Florida's 15th district.

Step One: Personal Familiarity

STRATEGY: face-to-face meetings with voters, door-knocking, townhall meetings, etc.

In the 21st century it is easy for political candidates to forget that personal contact with the voters is key to running a quality campaign. When voters are able to make a personal connection with a candidate, the impact is powerful and long-lasting. As part of our campaign strategy, we propose that the candidate attend town meetings on a regular basis. Additionally, we would schedule "community chats" where voters could meet with the candidate, ask questions and really begin to understand and relate to the issues that affect Florida's 15th district. Additionally, appearances would be scheduled at local book stores and shopping malls. Local businesses would also be contacted so that they could sponsor opportunities for the candidate to meet with employees and corporate decision makers to discuss issues of concern. This first step is grass-roots in nature and allows the candidate to actually keep his finger on the pulse of what his voters really need from their political leader.

Step Two: Platform

STRATEGY: Select platform focus for candidate. Create and review talking points.

It is essential that the candidate running for office in Florida's 15th district has a clear vision for his campaign and can express this vision clearly, continuously and consistently to voters. A message that is not clear will confuse voters and a message that is not target, specific and measurable will leave the voters with a sense that the candidate is merely paying lip service to the real issues that concern them. Many candidate make the mistake of picking several platforms i.e. gay rights, abortion rights, civil rights, healthcare and mixing them all together. It is imperative that the candidate picks one clear area of focus that is key to the district's voters and understands and presents this focus clearly. It is important to design the "high concept" of this platform. The high concept is merely the candidates platform boiled down to a few words or a slogan. This should be something that is easy for voters to remember, but also something that is impactful and will make them want to vote for the candidate. It is better in this area to keep the focus narrow but deep.

Step Three: Party Affiliation

STRATEGY: Shore up Democrat base through direct mail, Internet website, e-mail and fax broadcasting, and cyber-pitch campaign cards. De-emphasize party affiliation to Republican incumbent.

Written communication is important in any political campaign. In order to reach as many voters as possible, we would outsource the following campaigns to PoliticalTeam.com:

Direct Mail: Focus on campaign message, benefits to voter and the district if candidate is elected, de-emphasize incumbents affiliation with the Republican party by questioning platform and voting record.

Internet website: PoliticalTeam.com works with PoliticalNet.com to offer the candidate an amazing but simple WebSite design tool. A WebSite for the candidate can be designed in just minutes, without any special programming or design knowledge.

E-mail and fax broadcasting: Fax and e-mail broadcasting is the delivery of information to several locations via facsimiles and e-mail. PoliticalTeam.com can use the candidates list of fax numbers and e-mail addresses, or they can furnish us with a list of fax numbers and e-mail addresses that are appropriate for the candidates message. Television and Radio are too broad and cost prohibitive. Dollar for dollar, fax and e-mail broadcasting is one of the most economical methods of advertising. Fax and e-mail broadcasting is one of the most overlooked methods of sending information to your voters, prospects, or constituents.

Cyber-pitch campaign cards: A Handshake Has Never Been So Powerful! Political candidates are spreading their message faster and with more effectiveness by hand delivering their views on the issues. CYBER-PITCH ™ Cards, about the size of a business card, are loaded with full motion videos and digital sound allowing voters to get a personal feel for the candidate. This card-carrying technology is new enough that supporters are likely to share the message with other undecided voters instead of simply discarding it. In less than five minutes these cards can intimately convey the candidate's positions and pertinent facts of the campaign. The cards can also be played and copied onto virtually any PC either in the home or the office. After viewing all of the digital video segments it launches the candidates web site in order to offer more time sensitive material while capturing voter information for future support or contributions.

Step Four: Name Identification

STRATEGY: Massive yard signage and prominent display of name on literature, mail and in radio or media releases.

It is important that voters in Florida's 15th district link the candidates message to his/her name. In order to insure that name recognition is achieved, we recommend that signage be used throughout the district. Additionally, the candidates name should be prominently displayed on all advertisements and in all direct mail campaigns along with his or her photograph.

Step Five: Issues/Positions/Proposals

STRATEGY: Target issues to identified market niches through direct mail, radio and cable television.

Unlike the political platform where the focus is narrow but deep, this phase of the campaign requires that the candidate cast a wide net and speak to various audiences about the issues that they are concerned with. We will provide the candidate with the research necessary in order to identify key issues…

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