Dr. Politics: The Primary is a Dress Rehearsal for November

By Dwight Patel

Amid the period of early voting and Primary Day in Maryland, I realize that most of you running in Montgomery County have no primaries, but you shouldn’t rest on your laurels and wait until November. Nor should you wait until after the primary to start knocking on doors.

Instead, you should prepare for the primary as if you had a primary opponent. That means planning a ground game for Primary Day and hitting the polls to shake hands with voters. You never know . . . If a Democrat loses a primary, you could be their next choice. 

Line up volunteers to cover your polls.  Prime times are 7 – 9:30 am; then 11:30 – 1:00 pm; then again at
3:00 pm until closing.   When recruiting people to cover the polls, try and have 2 people for each block, since it’s more fun than being the only one standing there handing out your information.  Make sure you get your literature to your local GOP office, so your information can be placed in the bags.  Also make sure you have a sign crew putting up signs at polling.  Best practice is having a team of College Republicans or Young Republicans to put up your signs late at night before Primary Day.

Things You Should be Doing to Build your Ground Game for Primary Election Day.

  • Create a list of key precincts in your district
  • Create a List of volunteers who will cover the polls for you on Primary Day
    • Assign precincts to your volunteers (in the primary you have to do this yourself)
    • Break these volunteers down in 3-hour shifts
  • You should have volunteers to go around and bring lunch, coffee, etc. for your volunteers at the polls.

Post primary, you should do an analysis of voter turnout numbers to determine which precincts had the higher turnouts for Dems and Republicans.  These will be priorities for you in November.  However, in November you will have the local party helping you. All candidates should work together in the general election to allow you and your campaign to get maximum coverage of polls.

Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to speak, one-on-one, regarding campaign strategies. You can reach me at [email protected].




Montgomery County Republican Party