Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—Improving your call time

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Yers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

If you ask most candidates what their least favorite task on a campaign trail is, the phrase “call time” will often be near the top. Call time, or dialing for dollars, is a task that candidates can’t avoid. They have to raise money in order to compete in a race, and the bigger the race, the more that they have to raise. While impersonal asks like email, Facebook, and Twitter posts work for small donors who are welcome and definitely needed, there are large donors and outside organizations who want to hear from a candidate before they commit. They don’t want to just “shoot the bull.” Many of these organizations and donors want to hear that a candidate is supportive of their issues and has a plan to succeed.

Numerous consultants will tell you that call time is done best without distractions, so you typically find it done in small, enclosed rooms with a candidate and their call time assistant, who hands them number after number with small bits of information, and keeps track of the donation requests.

Is this the only way? No. This week in Nuts & Bolts, we’re going to talk about the other ways in which call time, and in-person meets, can be done successfully.

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