MasterClass – David Axelrod & Karl Rove Teaches Campaign Strategy and Messaging


01 Introduction

Meet your new instructors David Axelrod and Karl Rove. In your first lesson, they share how they each found politics, how their unlikely friendship began, and why they are passionate about democracy.

02 Starting a Campaign

Karl and David lay out what a campaign team needs to consider at the start of a race. Learn why you need to take stock of the electorate–and your candidate–to develop a theory of why you can win.

03 Assessing Your Candidate

Knowing your candidate inside and out is essential to a winning campaign. Both instructors illustrate why you must uncover every strength and weakness: to identify lines of attack and develop your message.

04 Researching Your Opponent

Karl delves into the whys and hows of conducting opposition research and addresses the ethical concerns of this practice.

05 Working on a Campaign

Both instructors teach you how to decide which candidate to work for, the different roles on a campaign team, and the role of key decision-maker.

06 The Campaign Plan

Karl explains why you need a campaign plan, what it should include, and how to follow-through and evolve as the race progresses.

07 Understanding the Electorate and Targeting Voters

Karl teaches you how to determine which parts of the electorate your campaign should target and how to go about it, while David shares his advice on the importance of addressing what constituents care about most.

08 Polling and Focus Groups

David and Karl trade off teaching the importance of polling and focus groups, while also highlighting the limitations of these types of research.

09 Budgeting and Fundraising

Karl breaks down what you need to include in a comprehensive campaign budget, how to figure out how much money you can raise, and the different ways you can go about raising it effectively.

10 The Campaign Message

Using effective ads from past successful campaigns, David and Karl teach you the different types of messages you can create for your campaign, from biographical content to positive, comparative, and negative ads.

11 Campaign Messaging Case Study

David walks you through the entire media campaign for an Iowa governor’s race to demonstrate how to develop and evolve your campaign message.

12 Public Appearances

David discusses the importance of the campaign launch, the fundamentals of the stump speech, and why candidates must be aware that all their actions are under scrutiny in a campaign.

13 Getting Your Message Out

Karl and David analyze the ever-changing media landscape and teach their most effective ways to use television and the internet to disseminate your candidate’s message.

14 Harnessing Social Media

David and Karl explain how essential social media is to modern campaigning. Learn how to use social media to spread your message, target voters, solicit donations and find volunteers.

15 Direct Mail

Karl breaks down why direct mail continues to be a valuable tool to reach voters during your campaign.

16 Slogans and Logos

Using his experiences in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, David offers his unique perspective on the power of slogans and logos.

17 Supporting Your Candidate

Karl and David teach you strategies to support your candidate during the grueling election cycle, from finding ways to preserve their energy, to delivering tough feedback.

18 Mobilizing Volunteers

An expert in “the ground game,” Karl teaches how to use volunteers to reach potential voters during your campaign. David and Karl also discuss why volunteering can be an excellent entry point in working on campaigns.

19 Debates

Using examples from historic debates, David and Karl break down the tactics candidates can use to effectively win a debate.

20 Keeping the Campaign on Track

David illustrates how to successfully emerge from the inevitable mistakes and negative attacks that happen during the course of any campaign.

21 Identifying Influencers

Karl teaches you how to identify and leverage the organizations and individuals who can positively influence your campaign.

22 The End of the Race

The closing weeks of a campaign are the busiest part of the election cycle. David and Karl lay out what to prioritize as you race toward the finish line.

23 The Current State of Politics

Karl and David discuss their perspectives on the highly polarized current state of politics in America, and the future they see for the country.

24 Parting Words

David and Karl offer a call to action, encouraging you to get involved in politics and start making a difference.

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