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OPPOSITION/VULNERABILITY RESEARCH Politics 101 Stetson University September 8, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "OPPOSITION/VULNERABILITY RESEARCH Politics 101 Stetson University September 8, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 OPPOSITION/VULNERABILITY RESEARCH Politics 101 Stetson University September 8, 2012

2 What is Opposition Research?? 4 Uncovering and Analyzing Your Opponent’s Public Records and Explaining, in Written Reports, Precisely Why Your Opponent Should Not Be Elected 4 Gathering the Data That Puts What Your Opponent Did or Didn’t Do in a Manner That is Not Only Understandable to Voters But Grabs Their Attention

3 “10 Commandments” of Opposition Research 4 1. Do Not Engage in Any Action or Conversation that You Would Not Want to Read About on the Front Page of a Major Newspaper 4 2. Be Discreet When Collecting Data 4 3. Gather and Use Only Information that is on Public Record

4 “10 Commandments” of Opposition Research 4 4. Do Not Waste Time Chasing or Spreading Rumors 4 5. Verify Every Item of Information You Use 4 6. Every Fact Used Must Have Hard-Copy Documentation 4 7. Do Not Assume Anything or Accuse Anyone

5 “10 Commandments” of Opposition Research 4 8. Do Not Wait Until the End of a Campaign to Use the Accumulated Information 4 9. Your Candidate Should Develop and Maintain a Positive Image 4 10. The Candidate and Key Campaign Staff Should Be Briefed and Ready to Defend All Attacks Made Against the Opponent

6 “10 Commandments” of Opposition Research Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment- Never Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican

7 Remember 4 Successful opposition research is driven by issues. 4 Unsuccessful opposition research is driven by the pursuit of scandals, rumor- mongering, and personal attacks.

8 Avoid chasing the “silver bullet” 4 It takes away from the time necessary to develop your issues. 4 If you seem to be pushing scandal, you as a “Mudslinger” become the issue.

9 GETTING STARTED 4 Know Yourself 4 Collect Every Available Biography on Your Opponent 4 Assemble a Timeline of Key Events in Your Opponent’s Career

10 HAVE YOU RESEARCHED YOURSELF? 4 When was the last time you “Googled” your name and the last 3 cities you lived? 4 Who bought the last house you sold? Who owns it now? 4 Assume your opponent is doing research on you – If I was running their Campaign, I surely will!

11 SOURCES OF INFROMATION ABOUT THE ELECTORATE 4 Talk with Knowledgeable People 4 Newspaper Articles 4 Survey Research From Previous Campaigns 4 Demographic Data

12 GENERAL BACKGROUND RESEARCH 4 Address Verification 4 Education 4 Organizations/Memberships 4 Courthouse Records 4 Department of Motor Vehicles

13 FINANCES 4 Contribution and Expenditure Reports 4 Financial Disclosure Statements 4 Office Expenditures 4 Business Involvement

14 VOTING RECORDS 4 Key/Killer Votes 4 Co-Sponsored Legislation 4 Voting Patterns –Missed Votes –Hero Votes –Minority Votes –Flip-Flop Votes –Other Patterns of Note

15 Develop a Profile of Your Opponent 4 Personally 4 Financially 4 Ethically 4 Ideologically

16 CREDIBILITY KEYS 4 Hard Copy 4 “Stand Alone” Format 4 Presentation

17 Your Written Research Reports 4 100 Percent Accurate 4 Balanced, Interesting, and Dynamic 4 All the Gory Details But As Short As Possible 4 Persuasive

18 How to Use Research 4 Any Campaign Medium –Mail –TV/Radio –Newspaper –Social Media Bloggers (Paid/Unpaid) Email/Web/Social Media

19 When to use research 4 Kill ‘em in the crib approach vs. Wait til the end approach. 4 If your research is verified, newsworthy, and pertinent to the election, use it sooner rather than later. 4 Must meet the timeline of the budget and overall campaign plan.

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