On Friday, January 27th, American Majority conducted its second “Campaign-In-A-Day” training with students at the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy. The attendees were split up into campaign teams for which they had to come up with a winning candidate strategy. Each team was given their own unique candidate with individual strengths and weaknesses. The candidates the teams were working with included a professor, a farmer, a plastics manufacturing plant floor manager, and a career-long public servant.
Once they had their candidates, the teams were coached through a series of briefings and assignments on how to run winning campaigns. Teams worked to figure out how to raise money and the proper way to allocate their campaign funds. They were tasked with deciding on a winning message to get across to the voters as well as creating a campaign sign to get their name out across the district.
From the briefings, the teams then had to get ready to present their plan and defend their decisions throughout the day before four politically savvy and experienced judges. Candidates had to give an elevator speech and the campaign managers had to lay out what their plan was to bring their team’s candidate to victory.
After the day’s planning, speeches and messaging strategies were complete the judges were let loose to question the teams on whatever aspects of the campaign they saw fit. Teams were grilled on the contrast, or lack thereof, that they tried to create between their candidate and their opposition. Team members were forced to defend how they allocated their funds. The judges then evaluated the teams and gave constructive feedback to help the team members for potential campaign endeavors.
By the end of the day, the farmer and the plastics manufacturing floor manager arose victorious in each of their elections. Each participant left the day with a better sense of what it takes to run a campaign and practical knowledge of the ins-and-outs of one of the more strenuous aspects of politics.
One of the day’s candidates, Matthew Foldi, had this to say about the event:
“The Campaign-In-A-Day was an absolutely fantastic experience. I hadn’t realized how truly holistic an experience it would end up being. We truly worked on everything, from the basics of our candidates to fundraising to a debate between the two candidates to the election itself. My favorite part was when the campaign teams went head to head, because it really allowed us to see the fruits of our labor. I loved that the panelists who were going to “vote” in the election made sure to ask questions to people in every role in the campaign, because I’ve worked on a lot of campaigns and I know that a candidate is only as good as the staff working with them. No stone was left unturned, from the layout of the districts to their electoral history to fundraising, and long-term strategic planning.”
American Majority also had a recent Campaign-In-A-Day event at Liberty University. Be on the lookout for a post on that event later this month. If you want to bring this experience to your group request a training on our website!