10 Campaign Rules to Win or Lose By…

First Rule of Politics: Never lose your cool in public…

Campaign Rule #2: If you want help on the campaign trail and want voters to take your candidacy seriously, do not post pictures of yourself at the ballgame, beach or participating in any other leisurely pursuit. No volunteer is going to work harder than their candidate.

Campaign Rule #3: If they aren’t a registered 3/4 or 4/4 voter, or have a great sign location, you have no time for them until AFTER November 6th.

Campaign Rule #4: A debate without media coverage isn’t a debate…It’s a waste of your time!

Campaign Rule #5: When door knocking, always place your foot against the bottom of the screen door. Don’t trust the latch to keep the dogs in.

Campaign Rule #6: Never, ever, touch, or deface, your opponent’s campaign sign… For any reason… Ever.

Campaign Rule #7: When in a parade, if you got legs, you better be walking. Nothing says arrogant like riding. Nothing says humble like walking. This is why it is called, “Running for Office.”

Campaign Rule #8: If former Delegate Kelly Schulz didn’t put a picture on her campaign sign, why should you??? Since only your name is on the ballot, your name should take up the majority (2/3rds) of the sign. It should be left and right justified. Use contrasting colors. Just because it looks good (readable) on your palm card, doesn’t make it readable at 50 mph. It should be designed like a bumper sticker. If it doesn’t fit well, consider other sizes, like a 4×4 or 2×8. And signs go perpendicular to the road! See: Good Sign Bad Sign 101

Campaign Rule #9: Don’t be the type of candidate you say you are running against. As election day draws near, you may be encouraged to engage in questionable political activity. Ultimately, only you are responsible for statements or actions made by you, or on your behalf. False, misleading, hypocritical or disingenuous statements, literature, advertisements or robo calls created by others made in your name are your responsibility. You make the call. It is your name on the Authority Line. No campaign is worth losing your integrity or your reputation.

Campaign Rule #10: The Consession Call. Don’t be a sore loser, and more importantly, don’t be a sore winner. Truth is, there will be more candidates who will come up short on election night than not. Understand that you challenged the status quo, and for that, you (and your family) are owed a debt that will never be repaid and thanks that will never come. So make the call(s), or take the call(s), and be as gracious as you can possibly be. Remember, there’s always 2022…

Good Sign Bad Sign 101

12698606_10208392262748713_1893959247632542857_oIt might be too late for candidates running for office this cycle, but here are some basic dos-n-don’t when it comes to campaign sign design.


  1. Left/Right Justified-Campaign signs are for increasing a candidate’s name ID, so the bigger your name on the sign the better. Your name should start at the far left border of the material (generally coroplast) and run to the far righthand side of the sign with very narrow margins.
  2. 2/3rd Name Coverage-Candidate’s name should cover more than half the sign. It’s your name that is on the ballot, nothing else so make sure that nothing on your sign distracts from or clutters up your name.
  3. Appropriate Use of Scale-Just because signs can be purchased in standard sizes doesn’t mean that you have to buy them that way, especially if you have an unusually long or short name. Some candidates might be better off with 4x4s if they have a short name and some candidates have names made for 2x8s. More often than not, names on 4x8s are no bigger than they would be on a 2×8 at twice the price. Additionally, 2x8s and 4x4s are twice as easy to put up as 4x8s.
  4. Sharp Color Contrast– I’m not suggesting you go generic and use black and white, but consider how your colors stand out when used together. When in doubt, it might be best to use black or white as your second color. It will stand out and cut costs, saving money for all the other necessities on the campaign… like pizza.
  5. Bold Type Style– Just because it looks good on letterhead, doesn’t mean it looks good at 50 mph or from 100 yards. Use BOLD TYPE without serifs and generally use ALL CAPS IF POSSIBLE.


  1. Websites– This ain’t the 90’s. Voters are smart enough to find your website without giving them the WWW. Don’t insult them by filling up half your sign with your web address.
  2. Shading and Outlining– Using shading to give your logo an embossed look or outlining letters with black or white to create more contrast between like colors might look good on your laptop, but will be difficult to read from a distance or at any speed. Avoid getting fancy. Most designers will want to create a sign suitable for framing. If you want something suitable for framing, win first.
  3. Pictures– If Kelly Schulz doesn’t put a picture on her sign, why would you??? The point is, your picture only diminishes the size of your name, it suggests a certain vanity at a time you want to be humble and is likely to attract pranksters in a way that might get your sign the kind of attention you do NOT want. The surest way to to keep from having a giant penis drawn on your face, is to not have your face on your sign. Nuff said.
  4. DIY– It never fails that the candidate wants to get down in the weeds and micromanage the campaign and the signage, but it’s just not your job. The candidate’s job is to shake hands, knock doors, kiss babies and ask for money, PERIOD. Winning candidates learn to delegate things like sign and logo design to people who know what they are doing and not sweat the details. If you are a candidate for office this November, you shouldn’t even be reading this!
  5. Don’t Use Cursive– GSBS assumed this was not necessary, but apparently we were wrong. See: Johnny O… Johnny NO!