On July 27th, American Majority conducted its first ever “Campaign-In-A-Day” training at the Forge Leadership Summit. This training was unlike any American Majority has done. The goal of the Campaign Simulation was to put the students into the role of a candidate or campaign staffer and train them on how to run winning campaigns.
The 70 young conservatives were put on ten teams, each with their own candidate for U.S. Congress, and with each member having a campaign role. Throughout the next 8 hours, American Majority and campaign consultants trained the teams at four campaign briefings. After each briefing the teams wrote their campaign plan by completing assignments putting what they learned in each briefing to practical use. Teams had to decide how to spend money they raised for the campaign, how to respond to spur of the moment campaign twists, and how each phase of their campaign would be executed.
Throughout the course of the day the teams earned votes, leading into their final face-offs against their opposition, in front of 3 “celebrity” judges for the campaign Shark Tank. Each team had their candidate give an elevator speech, and their campaign managers explained why they had a winning campaign plan. Then the teams were grilled with questions from the judges.
The winners were the teams who accrued the most voters throughout the day based upon their campaign plan and how they fared in the Shark Tank. By the end of the day, 5 teams rose victorious from their campaigns. However, all of the attendees ended up with experience and practical knowledge of campaigns to use in their political futures.
Don’t take our word for it. Here is what the attendees had to say:
What did you think of the American Majority Campaign-In-A-Day?
“I really enjoyed it and now feel inspired to work on a campaign.”
“Phenomenal. A great way to get a test of how running a campaign would be.”
“I thought it was humbling experience concerning lack of knowledge in those matters as well as a fun experience of being on a team and planning/working together. Kind of like a very strategic game.”
“I loved it! It was a clever, informative way to get us to interact with what it means to campaign.”
“It was the coolest exercise/team event ever!”
Do you feel more prepared to help on or run a campaign?
“Absolutely. The stress and knowledge put on us not only had us thinking but also made us more creative and resourceful.”
“Yes I do because it gave a lot of tips. How to spend your money, how to go door to door, how to contact voters, how to respond when your candidate is attacked, and much more.”
“Yes, now I understand better all the roles that are needed to have a successful campaign and how to practically fulfill these roles.”
What were your favorite parts?
“Collaborating with my team members to create a successful campaign.”
“Getting the twists and having to react in real time.”
“The twists, because they were realistic and forced you to really think on a deeper level.”
“Getting to know people, working together, learning about the process, debating for our candidate, and the twists!”
“Definitely working with my teammates on problem-solving. I really loved getting into the logistics.”
What did you learn or take away from the experience?
“Critical thinking, public speaking skills, teamwork, resourcefulness, and strategic skills.”
“Campaigning is about strategy and good organization.”
“I learned that the plan is one of the most critical parts and I really enjoyed the planning process.”
“A better general knowledge of how a campaign works and an experience to help me discern that this is something I definitely want to do.”
“A better understanding of the intense collaboration needed in campaign teams, and a feel for specific steps campaigns must take.”
Do you have any other thoughts?
“Enjoyed the experience immensely. Thank you.”
“Super fun and a great learning experience that I will always remember.”
“Tiring, challenging in a positive way. Helped to bond more with everyone around, Truthfully, it was an AWESOME day. :)”
“Great job! This was a very valuable simulation! Bring this to other groups!”