Mike Kueber's Blog

September 4, 2012

Effective campaigning in south San Antonio

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 7:40 pm
Tags: , ,

Today’s New York Times contained an extensive article by a novice campaign manager – Matt Platkin – for a novice candidate for the San Antonio City Council – Rey Saldana.   Because the 2011 Saldana campaign was successful, Platkin, who is now a Stanford law student, believes he is qualified to lecture other campaigns about ignoring young Hispanics who rarely vote.  According to Platkin, campaigns should devote more of their limited resources to persuade nonvoters instead of devoting those resources to persuade people who have traditionally voted. 

Although Platkin’s strategy sounds silly, I am not prepared to reject it out of hand.  Obviously, the best strategy is to go after lower-hanging fruit, and perhaps nonvoters are lower-hanging than traditional voters.  This issue seems analogous to whether a campaign should focus on (a) winning the undecided voters or (b) stirring up their base to greater participation.  It’s a judgment call for experts to make, and apparently Matt Platkin considers himself to be an expert. 

I think Platkin is revealing more than a little hubris, and I suggest that he should be slow to make ethnic generalizations based on a race between two young Hispanic candidates in a district that is 80% Hispanic.


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