The Influence of Grassroots
The grassroots movement has made a significant impact on the outcome of local campaigns. Grassroots is defined as, “a type of movement or campaign that attempts to mobilize individuals to take some action to influence an outcome, often of a political nature.” The desired outcome consists of two elements. The first and probably the most repeated, is to influence voters to use their voice and to go and vote, or vote a certain way in an upcoming election. The second is to influence voters to contact a policymaker to take a specific action.
There are many ways you can enact grassroots politics. Many campaigns use door knocking, phone calls, social media, and several others outlets to take action. The type of grassroots politics you use should be determined on your volunteers strengths and weaknesses, according to Tyler Harber in his article “Grassroots are worth more than just GOTV.” He stated instead of throwing out volunteers, these grassroot actions should be more organized.
Stout explains grassroots perfectly in, “Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America”. Mark Ruggiero summarizes Stouts novel in his article in Campaigns and Elections, “Stout takes readers on a journey that explores how Americans are finding ways to work together to keep government responsive to the will of the people.” This is key to any campaign and ultimately key to any election. We have to remember the government should be responsive to the will of the people. This concept has been encouraged throughout many different campaigns and is what motivates voters to get out and vote. This is what makes grassroots so successful.
President Obama’s campaign enacted several key grassroot elements. Elan Karoll stated in “How a Grassroots Campaign Won Unprecedented Results,” Obama won the White House as a result of enacting eight key grassroot elements. The first was to identify the challenge and define your goals to overcome this challenge. Step two is to assemble all available resources. These resources will help you reach your goals in an organized and effective way. Out of those resources, step three is to recruit your core team. This team consists of your MVP’s who share your same vision, and have the energy and motivation to help your vision become a reality. Step four is to launch your campaign. This consists of assembling your core team to come up with a set of campaign strategies. Step five is to build up your base of volunteers. This is where you enact a “call to action” among your volunteers. Step six is to accelerate into action. This is where you and your trained volunteers get out and get the job done. Step seven is where you see the results of your hard work. This step is referred to as “go time.” Lastly, step eight is reacting to the results, and following-up.
Grassroots is essential to any and every victory. The efforts one puts into their campaign should inspire our voters to get out and “hire” the candidate of their choice. Mike Boyce is a perfect example of how grassroots effects a campaign. Mike’s campaign outperformed expectations by knocking on over 30,000 doors and making over 50,000 phone calls. This shows that hard and organized work should be held with the utmost importance throughout the entirety of every campaign. This is a principle we practice at Lesix Media, because at the end of the campaign the voters voice will be heard.