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2018 FALL | Political Campaigns, Top to Bottom: Data, Door Knocking and the 2018 Midterms
September 12, 2018 @ 8:00 am - October 24, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Dole Fellow Kelly Dietrich
Technology has transformed every aspect of the modern political campaign, from polling to messaging to fundraising and beyond. Kelly Dietrich, founder of the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) and KU alumnus, leads a discussion group series on the midterm elections and their intersection with tech and data. Dietrich and his guests will glean real-world examples from the midterms as they happen, offering audience members an unparalleled look at the inner workings of today’s campaigns.
Crafting a Winning Message in the Age of Trump: Is All Politics Still Local?
Every campaign struggles with how to communicate with voters. The maxim used to be, “All politics is local.” Does this hold true in today’s charged political atmosphere? How can local campaigns cut through the national focus on the Trump administration?
Targeting Voters: Big Data at the Local Level
How do campaigns, with more personal data on voters available than ever, decide who to target to win? How can this data be used in traditional campaign activities like canvassing? Kelly Dietrich is joined by John Hagner, partner with Clarity Campaign Labs, and Jason Perkey, vice president at JVA Campaigns and political consultant for TargetSmart. Hagner oversees consulting and strategic service offerings, working with clients like the Democratic Governor’s Association, EMILY’s List and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Perkey works for the nation’s leading data, technology and consulting firm and has been involved in local, state and national political campaigns for over a decade, including Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential run.
The Small Money Revolution: How Tech is Changing How Campaigns Are Funded
National campaigns are experiencing major shifts in the ability to solicit and collect low-dollar contributions from individuals across the country. How does this affect local campaigns and how can they compete with larger organizations and candidates? For this conversation, Kelly Dietrich will welcome Lily Gold, director of strategic operations for Mothership Strategies. Gold currently leads a team that focuses on email fundraising for Democrats around the country. She previously worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raising $70 million in online donations in 2014 alone.
Social, Text, Email, Digital, Mail and TV: Communicating with Voters of Every Age
For decades, the mainstay of any political communication plan was TV and mail. Now, digital and social media advertising are challenging the supremacy of the old ways and offering cheaper alternatives for candidates to communicate with even more specific voters. How are these tools being adopted on local campaigns? How do they change a campaign’s priorities and relationship with its supporters? Kelly Dietrich is joined in conversation by Valerie Martin, co-founder of Silversmith Strategies, and Danielle Winterhalter, managing director of SpeakEasy Political. Specializing in fundraising, campaign management and media, Martin has also managed two U.S. Senate races and worked in fundraising on Sen. Claire McCaskill’s 2006 upset victory in Missouri. Winterhalter owns experience as a campaign manager, policy director and political consultant for Democratic candidates, progressive causes and labor organizations.
Polling and Data: How do we Track and Predict the Outcome of Elections?
Polling is always one of the focal points for the public’s attention leading up to elections. In 2016, very few pollsters forecasted the Trump win accurately. Some blame this on the Clinton campaign’s reliance on analytics and modeling, rather than polling and door-to-door experience. Can polling and data work together in the future?
The Future of State and Local Parties in the Candidate-Driven Campaign Era
Most individuals have no idea what state and local parties actually do. Given our candidate-centric culture, how do parties continue to provide service and value to the party and their candidates? What will their role be in the future of politics? Kelly Dietrich is joined in conversation by Vicki Hiatt, Jim Joice and Ken Martin. Hiatt is a KU graduate and retired teacher who now serves as vice chair of the Kansas Democratic Party. In her current role, Hiatt works to recruit and train candidates throughout the state of Kansas. Joice is currently the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party. He began his career working for Rep. Kevin Yoder and later served with Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning. Martin is a vice chair for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), president of the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) and chair of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party. A KU graduate, he has worked on many different campaigns over the years including three Presidential campaigns, Kerry ’04, Gore ’00, and Clinton ’92, as well as countless federal, state, and local efforts.
What the Heck will Happen? Predictions Ahead of November 2018
The last session ahead of the 2018 mid-terms, this is a chance to predict election results, focus on bigger trends, individual tactics and strategies, and interpret what it could all mean for 2019 and 2020. Kelly Dietrich welcomes Michael Blake and Marlon Marshall for this conversation. Blake is currently a state assembly member in New York and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. He was previously White House Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and National Deputy Operation Vote Director for President Barack Obama in 2012. Marshall is a founding partner of 270 Strategies, KU alumnus and Dole Institute Board of Advisors member. Marshall has previously served as special assistant to the President and principal deputy director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement. He was director of states and political engagement for the Hillary for America campaign and deputy national field director for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.