Do Candidates Have a Plan for Asking You What Concerns You?
It is election season. Are candidates asking you for your concerns? Or are they just asking (registered voters) for their votes?
When was the last time a candidate stopped by your home to ask you what concerns you have, not just ask you for your vote? How can they represent you if they don't ask you what you need?
I was concerned enough about education in Washington State that I ran for a school board position in 2009. I used the county auditor's (elections department) list of registered voters to knock on doors of people who voted 3 out of 4 times - frequent voters. (These people are most likely to vote and vote for you because you stopped by their home.) I found that few parents who had children in school were frequent voters. That made me wonder if our education system is struggling because candidates are not stopping by parents' homes, and not hearing parents' concerns.
Should candidates ask parents their concerns? How can they represent parents and children if they don't ask you what you need?
This spring I began surveying candidates running for any office* in Washington State: Do you plan to ask residents their concerns before or after your election? Will you include all residents, frequent voters, or voters affiliated with your political party? How much of your campaign budget will you dedicate to asking residents' concerns? Survey questions Mobile users, switch to web-based viewing.
I believe most of their actions are passive for asking residents their concerns (albeit active in asking registered voters for their votes). How did your candidates respond? INDEX to find your candidates' response.Mobile users, switch to web-based viewing.
Let me know in the comments section below if you think candidates' plans are good enough. Do you think campaign money should be spent on asking us our concerns? How can they represent us if they don't ask us what we need?
ELECTION 2016 INFORMATION: This year in Washington State, over 250** offices are up for election – all state representatives (98), about half of the state senators (26), all Congressional representatives (10), congressional senator (1), president (1), and about half of the 39 county's elected positions (appx. 117).
Candidates' campaigns have raised $760 million (Washington State candidates have raised $31 million of that total (as of 4/12/16).
SURVEY STATUS as of 7/7/16: -- Number of candidates who responded: 59 (56 responses have been posted, 3 waiting for candidates' approvals, 0 waiting for formatting) -- Number of candidates who were emailed the survey questions: 516 (presidential and congressional candidates** who had filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) as of 4/12/16; state executive, legislative district, and local office candidates who filed with their county's elections department during filing week, late May). The first batch of surveys was emailed on 3/18/16. -- Number of candidates who have discontinued their campaign: 13 -- Number of emails returned as undeliverable: 22 -- LEFT TO DO: - Delete names and responses of any candidates who did not file with their county elections department.(legislative district done) - Find contact information (for the few dozen) candidates who did not declare an email address and/or phone number when they filed to run for office. - Follow-up with candidates who have not responded or whose emails were returned as undeliverable. - Repost candidates' responses so they can be read more easily by mobile devices.
Sources for candidate contact and campaign contribution information: Washington State's Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, and counties' elections website (through Secretary of State portal, except King and Yakima counties).
*Survey being sent to the 18 presidential candidates who raised over $1 million and had not filed a termination report with the FEC (as of 5/26/16). Over 1,780 people filed with the FEC to run a presidential campaign. **Does not include judicial nor precinct committee officer races.