A New Day in the Old Dominion

Last November, exceptional candidates and a relentless focus on the issues led Virginia Democrats to historic victories.

Episode 3 features a conversation with Joshua Ulibarri of Lake Research Partners, chief pollster for the Democratic Caucus in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2015.

In 2017, a year after Donald Trump’s election, Josh’s clients won resounding victories across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ralph Northam comfortably ascended to the Governor’s Mansion, while Democrats flipped an astounding 15 GOP-held held seats in the House of Delegates — coming within a single vote of controlling the Western Hemisphere’s oldest deliberative body.

What can communicators and candidates learn from Democrats beating the odds (and a heavily gerrymandered map) in Virginia?

Ulibarri says it all starts with exceptional candidates who communicate authentically with voters. Nominating more women, millennials, and people who look like the voters they want to represent can all help in 2018.

Especially in midterms, Democrats have to turn out voters who agree with progressive stances on the issues but don’t always vote for progressive candidates. To do that, candidates in 2018 need to define their personal brands by focusing relentlessly on local issues that matter to voters. In other words, midterm voters need to hear what candidates stand for, not just reactions to President Trump, Republican opponents, or the national news.

You can listen to this episode directly here or through the player below. You can also subscribe to Achieve Great Things on iTunes here.

For a deeper dive, check out Josh’s three-part series on the 2017 Virginia elections here, here and here.

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