Standing Out in a Crowded Primary

When the choices are confusing, voters default to the one they know. Simple as that. And nowhere are the choices more obscure than in a crowded Republican primary.

Even the most tuned-in voters have a hard time distinguishing the candidates, all of whom present themselves as conservative.  Few can call up the money or strategy to differentiate themselves. So usually the winner is the officeholder with name ID and party backing.

In the March 2013 primary for the open congressional seat covering coastal South Carolina, $4.1 million was spent by 16 candidates who split only 53,793 votes. The winner, with 37 percent of the vote, was the disgraced former governor (who resigned after disappearing with his mistress). And he was outspent by five other candidates. In second place was a former Charleston county councilman, with only 13 percent of the vote.

(The good news is that money doesn't have as much to do with it. The top two vote-getters were outspent by four others. The top two spenders each dropped $750,000 and came in fifth and sixth with about six percent. More than $200 per vote.)

Politics is a people business. Nowhere is this more true than in a multi-candidate Republican primary, which is more like a race for student-body president. It's a simple popularity contest where, to most voters, the stakes are low. (Start thinking about it in that light and you'll be glad you did. If there's an established politician in the race with name ID, it's like running against the head cheerleader. Beatable, yes. But you'll need to recruit enough friends to reach everyone in the school.)

Winning a crowded primary demands neighborhood politics, writ large. If you don't think you can recruit help in every precinct -- in other words, make friends with thousands -- stay home. If you don't think you can finish at least second in the district's major population center, stay home. Because that's what it will take.

If you're mindful of the obstacles but still accept the challenge, then you've come to the right place!

The Filpac system is designed for candidates in your position.

It starts with the voter file. We make it easy for you to import the most-current voter database, keep it current, and focus on the "super-voters" so important in a race like this.

Making enough friends involves reaching out to thousands. And you can't reach out to them without effective list management, which is where our system shines.

The good news about money is that you don't need to be the biggest spender to win. But you do need to spend wisely and our prices certainly will help.

If you've read this far, it means you've read things you'll read nowhere else. But wait! There's more. Read our Ten Truths of Politics and the Common Signs of Losing Campaigns. And then call us.

Want to win? Let us join your team.