The Glover Report: On Any Given Election Day

By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – January 4, 2022) – Some people say that Barack Obama’s 2008 US presidential victory was an anomaly. Almost like, it wasn’t supposed to happen. Pres. Obama served as US President for the next 8 years. Some thought the same of Republican Larry Hogan’s 2014 gubernatorial victory in Maryland, a 2-to-1 Democratic state. He beat Democratic challenger Ben Jealous by about 275,000 votes. Eight years later, Gov. Hogan has the second-highest approval rating among all governors across the country.

What both politicians’ unforeseen wins have in common is preparation.

I’ll never forget when I first learned about Hogan’s “Change Maryland”. Their Facebook page had nearly 300,000 followers at the time. As a social media student who organically built a page with 211,000 followers, I can assure you that is no easy feat. It takes a couple of years of labor-intensive effort, at least.

This means that some people sat down together long before 2014’s election and made a plan to take the State House. Clearly, it worked. The same for Pres. Obama. His ascension through the Democratic machinations was simply magnificent. He made key strides throughout his academic career to prepare himself for his political career, including marrying the perfect wife for him, Michelle. Once in politics, the rest was meeting the right people who could get him successfully through the insidious maze to the White House – without scandal.

We have a very crowded list of Democrats who have declared interest in being the next governor of Maryland. Some are familiar faces. Some – most have never heard of before this election. In any event, it’s a wide-open field where every candidate will get to show their mettle and what sets them apart from the field.

At the end of the day, though, will these candidates have enough experience to go up against a seasoned veteran with excellent name recognition?

For instance, David Warnock and Mary Miller both had lots of money in their coiffeurs when they ran for Mayor of Baltimore in 2016 and 2020, respectively. Both lost. What both examples proved is that money alone does not win an election. One also needs key people. These jewels know the way to victory.

As noted in my column yesterday, candidates have to touch voters at least three times. Of course, running for Mayor of Baltimore requires reaching much fewer people than running for governor, but the principle is the same. And given that scenario, one ought to start campaigning as early as possible.

Put differently, a candidate cannot wait until an election season to get one’s name out there. That part of the task should have begun a while ago. A candidate should already be recognizable in the streets and the communities, like Marion Barry. Long before he became mayor, he helped thousands of Washingtonians get jobs. He had a long track record of service amongst the people, including those in Southeast DC.

A common challenge in this election is that many of the candidates running for governor have never held office before. So, to go up against Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is not going to be an easy fight at all. And being pals with Barack Obama means very little, with all due respect. Why? Doug Gansler, Wes Moore, Ashwani Jain, John King, and Tom Perez all have that in common.

Can you imagine going into the ring against Mike Tyson or Floyd Mayweather? These guys are tenacious about their training. They have no intention of letting a challenger come in there and take their lunch money. That’s just unfathomable in their minds. Mayweather is even a boxing historian. These boxing icons understand what it is to live, eat, and breathe boxing all day every day. Point is, one might be outstanding in one’s vocation, but running for political office is the most demanding and most grueling endeavor one could undertake, right up there with astronaut school or Special Forces training; or, better yet, preparing for a decathlon.

It will challenge one’s mind, body, and spirit to the nth degree without question.

When running for office, one has to be proficient in several areas, including messaging and branding (all the way down to campaign colors), organizing volunteers, fundraising, phone banking, street canvassing, web presence, and social media, sign game (both residential and commercial), endorsements, opposition research, crunching numbers, and media relations. In the governor’s race, I should mention that the running mate should bring something to the table that the candidate needs, beginning with trust.

Trust is the most valuable commodity in any election or any other serious endeavor. Without it, and confidence – one has lost before the battle ever begins.

That list alone requires at least two years of solid preparation including regular strategic meetings with one’s team. And one must have experienced people who have successfully run statewide campaigns at one’s side. Part of the reason you want these political war veterans is because of who and what they know. After all, it’s all about relationships. Further, the successful campaign has a high-level of synergy where the end-product is a well-oiled machine that kicks ass and takes names.

Now, if a candidate is lacking in one of the aforementioned areas, then they need to implore the help of certified experts who do certain tasks all the time, like pollster Patrick Gonzales. I couldn’t imagine running for office in Maryland and having never contacted him to gain his insight. I also couldn’t imagine not contacting Marcus Murchison. He’s only one of the best number crunchers in the country who provides a detailed path to victory for his candidates.

And that’s what Franchot’s challengers are tasked with: growing a team of people with the skills and expertise to win a statewide election … all within the next 6 months.

Can Franchot be upset? Sure, he can! On any given election Tuesday, anything can happen! But it won’t be a fluke. It will come from a most intelligently designed campaign that has dotted all the i’s, crossed all the t’s, left no rock unturned, and cleverly outworked the competition. May the best candidate win!

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