Selectorate vs Electorate – Winning Elections 101

The Selectorate – The Real Reason that the Republicans lost.

Why did the Republicans lose? There are thousands of articles and thousands of commentators going into minute and US specific detail about why the Republicans lost the election. Republicans seem to have a list of reasons that include Governor Christie, Sandy, Hispanics and Romney. Many things impact on election results – often, however, the real reason for losing elections is closer to home. Focusing on the selectorate instead of the electorate is a generic issue that translates across the Atlantic. And one where the Conservatives have been at least 10 years ahead of the Republicans.

The difference between the Selectorate and the Electorate.

If the selectorate’s criteria does not match the electorate’s criteria – at least to some extent – the selectorate will select candidates that the electorate simply will not elect. Many people, including me, talk about the need for “conviction politicians” and that idealism needs a place in politics. But if your politics and your policies only appeal to a minority –  you are not going to win. Elections are about words and maths after all.

This was an issue that the Conservative Party understood and dealt with to some extent over 10 years ago. I was hired by the Conservative Party to coach candidates who could win with the electorate to help them get selected. 10 years later and my Getting Selected courses are still being run by the party – helping to equip people with potential to navigate the internal difficulties and hoops of Getting Selected and understanding how to Get Elected.

Romney lost and lost big among young people, African-Americans and Hispanics. This was a jolt and a reminder to the Republicans who care to listen that their party is out of sync with the future of their country.

If the Republicans do not listen, their economic agenda will lose its volume and risk losing its voice.





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