In the pages of How To Win! Charles R. Wilson tells you everything you need to know to run a successful political campaign.
But this is not just another clinical how-to book. The opening section contains guidance on how one makes the decision to enter politics and where and when to do so to accomplish his or her personal goals. This section is followed by a review of the various aspects of a campaign for public office including subjects like finance, organization, researching the opposition, targeting communication to the most fertile voter segments, and maintaining good press relations. And perhaps most important are the warnings of what not to do—including failing to learn and follow all legal requirements in filing, reporting, and signage. Then there is candidate misbehavior, family scandal, or falsifying accomplishments.
All of these subjects and more are illustrated with war stories from Mr. Wilson's sometimes brutal campaign experiences at the local, state and national level. Nor does he neglect the humor one finds even in the most high stakes situations. His tone throughout is one of philosophic realism that reflects his professional observations over many election seasons of characters and personalities playing their major and minor roles in the drama of a political campaign.
The final section of How to Win is the Operations Manual. Here is the nitty-gritty: placing electronic and print ads, ordering signs, direct mail costs and more. Included at the end of the manual is the Candidate Electability questionnaire which, when completed with ruthless honesty will give the office seeker a score--CSE or Candidate Electability Score, the political version of a FICO score, copyrighted by Wilson. A candidate's CES predicts with uncanny accuracy one's chances of winning before a campaign even begins.
Every candidate for public office should learn the lessons of this book. The various active participants in the campaign should read this book and become especially familiar with those components having to do with their campaign responsibilities i.e. the campaign manager, scheduler, finance chair, etc. Reading the book will separate the intelligent voter from the naïve. How to Win should be on the bookshelf of every political junkie, every academic of the public affairs/politics variety. It will also be of interest to the student of American history.