Elections have stages. Like the four seasons in the year. Your calendar should be developed around these dates (e.g. Election Day) and campaign goals (e.g. fundraising targets, voting precincts, organizations). So what are the key dates you need to draft your campaign plan around?
1. When can you officially file to run/become a candidate?
2. (Dependent upon the state.) When can you begin collecting signatures to secure a place upon the ballot as a candidate or for an initiative?
3. What is the date of your state’s caucuses?
4. What are the dates of your county and state conventions?
5. What are the Primary and General Election dates?
6. When does Early Voting begin?
7. When do ballots get mailed out?
8. When are voter registration deadlines?
9. When are the political party annual fundraising dinners, or activist’s meetings you need to attend?
10. When do you internally begin the GOTV – Get Out The Vote?
11. When is the campaign financial report deadline? Do not get fined for missing statutory deadline.
Most people in this world have the philosophy of “Deadlines just aren't real to me until I'm staring one in the face.” Funny, but sad. We think Congress lives by this quote. To win your campaign, make sure you understand key dates and deadlines. For example: You cannot build a GOTV strategy if you do not know when people can vote.