May 30th, 2011 // 1:11 pm @ Oliver DeMille
The Four Rules of Victory
For Both Sides
Rule 1. Get the Independent Vote. This one thing will determine the 2012 election. Most Republicans will vote Republican and most Democrats will vote for President Obama, but independents will determine the election. It is unclear how they will vote, but there are more independents now than either Democrats or Republicans. Independents overwhelmingly sided with Barack Obama in 2008 and with Republican candidates in 2010, but they are now unimpressed with the actions of both sides and their vote in 2012 remains to be seen.
For President Obama
Rule 2. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. We’ve seen some progress, but not enough. Independents overwhelmingly believe that small business success and economic growth, not government spending, is the way to boost employment rates and the economy for the long term. Independents keep waiting for President Obama to lead a major initiative that reduces regulatory red tape and encourages small business innovation and growth. So far he has seemed committed to doing the opposite.
It’s all about the economy. Many independents feel that President Obama gives lip service to helping small business and economic growth but that his heart doesn’t really seem to be in it. He has proven effective in leading major initiatives, such as the stimulus package and health care (which many independents dislike) and getting Osama bin Laden (which most independents admire), but he seems to be interested in almost anything rather than truly helping small business.
Many independents are beginning to worry that some of the conservative rhetoric is accurate, that perhaps the President really doesn’t care about small business, that he is in fact a big-government ideologue who arrogantly looks down on the free market and businesspeople. Independents don’t want a seemingly smug, entitled, or anti-business president. They want to see this genuinely change before the 2012 election.
For Republican Candidates
Rule 3. Stop focusing on issues that make independents angry at you, like personal attacks on the President, his citizenship, his past, and his friends. Independents dislike this. Most don’t support President Obama’s economic policies, and many would vote against him if they felt they had a real alternative. But Republican candidates who constantly attack the President on personal issues will drive many independents into the Obama camp. President Obama has shown leadership, courage, commitment and the ability to effectively push his agenda, so independents are frustrated with Republicans who continue to treat him with disrespect. He is a serious politician, however much some people may disagree with his politics.
Rule 4. Present a real candidate with a genuine plan to fix the economy, in a way that is respectful to leaders from both parties and to all Americans. Offer a candidate who convinces independents that he or she can be a real leader for the United States of America. The economy and the “leadership thing” are the keys to this election.
Right now Republicans have offered no candidate that independents feel they can support. Therefore, at this point Obama is far ahead in the 2012 election. There is, of course, a lot of time left in this race and the names and details will likely change many times before November 2012.
Barring major crisis on a huge scale, these four rules will remain the same throughout 2011, 2012 and right up to election night. Those who ignore these rules will find themselves on the losing end of the next presidential election.
He is the co-author of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller LeaderShift, and author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.
Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.