Why Both Obama and McCain Failed to Woo Me


According to everything I’ve heard and read for the past two months, myself and people like me are the Holy Grail for both presidential candidate’s campaign – the independent swing voter. So if that’s the case, I’m wondering why neither Barack Obama nor John McCain did anything to woo me leading up to today.

The swing voter should be getting barraged with information based on this general PR truth:

  • Don’t spend much time or energy trying to convert those strongly opposed to your brand.
  • Spend good time and energy keeping your brand’s evangelists loyal.
  • Spend most of your time and energy trying to convert those in the middle who can be swayed to your brand.

My wife is registered with a particular party, while I’m a registered independent. She’s been getting direct mail from that candidate’s campaign regularly for the past month. A colleague has been getting phone calls from her party daily for weeks now. One friend even got a recorded call from Stevie Wonder. Stevie “I just called to say I love you” Wonder!

Me? I got a postcard-sized mailer from the McCain camp on Friday and three Obama supporters canvassing our neighborhood stopped by my house Saturday as I played with my oldest daughter in our front yard.

I’m not being presumptuous. I don’t think either should have reached out to me because it’s me. But I am wondering how either could overlook ANY registered independent this election, especially one who’s still going back and forth between both candidates – even this morning as I get ready to head out to the polls.

What has been your experience with direct communications this election cycle? Has either candidate’s campaign purposefully reached out to you?

*Image by Brandi Tressler.

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4 responses to “Why Both Obama and McCain Failed to Woo Me

  1. I completely agree. I am a registered Dem and I have been bombarded with information. I get at least one call a day and have had an average of 2 people come to my apartment. Even after I told them I had sent in my ballot already, they continued. This in contrast to my boyfriend who is registered as Indie. He received a couple of calls and a mailer. That’s all. I couldn’t believe it.

  2. I am also an Independent. But I felt pretty wooed by the Obama camp. I got lots of emails (that I registered for) and I was extremely impressed by his social media campaign aimed at the younger demographic. I feel that the only way to woo without being overzealous and annoying was the way Obama did it. He really went for my generation which I really appreciated- though if you aren’t a 20-something I could see where you might feel that it wasn’t enough. But I was very intrigued and compelled by his campaign.

  3. @MsCatalysta – “though if your aren’t a 20-something I could see where you might feel that it wasn’t enough.”

    Are you making fun of me for turning 30 yesterday?!

    I don’t think anyone can deny that – as a marketing case study – the Obama camp completely changed the game for politics. I was just surprised that both campaigns would have the mailing address and phone number for a registered independent and not put it to a little more use. Looks like @Crystal’s boyfriend had the same experience, too.

  4. Hi David,

    As an independent, I agree with you. It was up to me to opt-in to multiple campaigns so that I could receive information and make an educated decision. My phone didn’t ring and my mailbox wasn’t filled.

    I like that the campaigns allowed me to opt-in, but I consider myself more engaged in the political process than most. If I didn’t want to learn more, it would have been very easy for me to sit out this election.

    I also wonder where third parties were this year? I know the ballot and debate access laws are strict and stifling, but I barely saw any form of social media campaigns from any of the 3P candidates. I think they could have benefited from the independent camp, too.

    Interesting post.


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