Beto O’Rourke Didn’t Get Much Of A Kickoff Bump, But He’s Not Alone

The presidential rollout parade continues! Since I last wrote about candidates’ polling bumps after they declared their presidential campaigns, Beto O’Rourke has joined the 2020 Democratic primary field, and we’ve gotten full data for a couple of other candidates. But it turns out that none of their entries into the race really caused a bump in their poll numbers, according to one set of polls.

As I did three weeks ago, I used Morning Consult’s weekly national poll of likely Democratic primary voters1 to gauge how much of a splash each presidential candidate’s kickoff made among the public. The chart below shows how O’Rourke’s, John Hickenlooper’s and Jay Inslee’s polling numbers changed after their campaigns launched; six other candidates who announced before March are also included. We’ve excluded candidates whom Morning Consult doesn’t ask about,2 those who declared too early for us to have polling data both before and after their announcements3 and those who haven’t officially declared they’re running.4

O’Rourke had an … interesting campaign launch that has generated some mixed signals. On the bright side for him, he raised more than $6 million in the first 24 hours after announcing his candidacy — a sum that topped all other contenders, even small-donor darling Bernie Sanders. But O’Rourke’s bump in the Morning Consult poll was decidedly meh: He went from 7 percent in the poll the week before his March 14 announcement to 8 percent in the poll the week after. Other polls, however, showed larger gains for O’Rourke. He rose by 2 percentage points in CNN’s polling and by 7 points in Emerson College’s polling (although CNN’s pre-announcement poll was taken in December and Emerson’s in February, so there was plenty of time for other events to affect his standing as well). Overall, it appears as though O’Rourke has gotten a smaller bump than Sanders and Kamala Harris, but larger than that of other candidates. However, a pair of The Economist/YouGov polls — one each taken before and after his kickoff — had disappointing news: O’Rourke’s net favorability rating (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) among Democrats fell from +45 points before his announcement to +40 after it, although the changes were within the margin of error. That could reflect the fact that even though O’Rourke got lots of cable-news coverage in the days after his launch, some of it was unflattering.

Inslee and Hickenlooper also underwhelmed. Inslee, the governor of Washington, had been polling at 0 percent before his March 1 announcement, and he inched up to 1 percent the week after he declared. But Hickenlooper, a former governor of Colorado, saw no change — he polled at 1 percent both before and after his March 4 campaign kickoff. One silver lining for Hickenlooper is that Morning Consult found an uptick in the number of people who could form an opinion of him: The week before his announcement, 20 percent of respondents had either a positive or negative opinion of Hickenlooper; the week after, 26 percent did.

And some bad news for all three candidates: As you can see from the chart, candidates’ polling bumps tend to dissipate after their kickoffs, so they’ll need to garner attention some other way to prove that they have staying power in the race.

Derek Shan contributed research.

Check out all the polls we’ve been collecting ahead of the 2020 elections.

Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped


I say be “Trumped” because for all that he did wrong in tarditional campaigning, he did Political SEO better than anyone had before.

I’ve always been a political guy.  I love using technology to those political ends.  Earlier this year I was able to leverage my experience in SEO, Adwords, cloud computing, data analysis and web design for a political candidate. It’s why these unique products are bundled into what I offer through Upwork.  Today there is no excuse for a candidate to neglect digital media needs.  Local candidates can easily benefit from a solid online presence for much less than they might think.  The past experience with Brent Ackerson’s campaign was very encouraging.

I’ve started to reposition satellite sites made in March for a new project I’ll mention below. for instance is intended to be a voter education site for anyone who wants to post I just so happen to post all of the stuff there.  I have some further plans for but those are all in my head.

All of these sites are hosted by my Google and Amazon cloud accounts, so that stuff has come in handy.  I hope to attract additional campaign work if not in 2018 by 2020.  I figured this new niche deserved a site so I’m working on with a handful of .net names also headed there just for ease of use.

Candidate SEO

I said at the a campaign meeting that I felt radio and TV ads were as effective as yelling out a window.  I still feel that way, even more so each day.  In these meetings people point out I’m tech savy but others still watch TV … then I think of my 88 and 92 yr old grandparents who recently decided Netflix, Amazon and Hulu were all they needed.

My Grandmother is the idea focus for a campaign, everyone knows older people vote much more regularly and reliably than younger people. She has 29 children, grand children and great grand children.  Living in half a dozen states I think now.  Guess what that means…she’s on Digital mediums 29 times the amount you’d probably expect.

I’ve also explained to candidates that it is a growing trend for a voter to arrive on election day with one or two races already decided.  This voter is now faced with several other races on the same ballot and will likely reach for their phone and decide who to vote for with only minutes of searching for the office or candidates.  The results of these searches will ultimately decide these votes.  Interestingly the money needed for Political SEO and Campaign Site Digital Marketing, creating content with the candidate amounts to a fraction of what campaigns will spend on radio.

I’ve added Candidate SEO to my domain family because I figured I needed a site as unique as this niche.

Position, Position, Position Its Up To Campaign SEO

Real estate brokers say location, location, location.  Did you know that first position in Google search results gets about 35% of users focus but 3rd gets some where around 7%?  If one candidate SEOs their site and a negative site against the other unprepared candidate that could be the election.

Sean Delahanty

I’ll be focused these next months on politics and SEO again.  I’m excited that Judge Sean Delahanty has signed on board with me to help him get out his digital message.  I’ve only had a couple weeks to put into this but check out his new campaign site. There is method to the madness, Ive also create a sister site that serves as a funnel or over flow thats officially the campaign committee‘s site.

I dont want to give away much during a race, but when we search Sean’s name its already number one on Bing and Yahoo.  Google of course is the goal, and we are climbing … as an army of pages are indexing daily.  Last search I found 73 pages indexed for the site each with their own distinct keywords all climbing in ranking.   UPDATE:  Its 146 pages now … on one domain mind you, that started less than a month ago.  The social media presence is expansive, Ive left off some sites from this social media collage.

Social Media – Candidate SEO – “You’re going to be popularrr”

 Sean Delahanty Social Media

Most of you will look at this wall of profiles and think to yourself who is ever going to go to these?  If you did and you’re running for office send me an email…you need me.  These sites aren’t REALLY there to be read by people.  All of these sites are visited by search engines and these sites frame an image of a candidate to Google. All of these social media accounts ultimately end up at the campaign site, there is value in reaching voters … but you’ll reach voters if you are at the top of their searches.

I’ll post shortly about the positioning the sites are reaching.  If you are running for office in Louisville Kentucky and looking for what you dont know you need reach out to me.  Not convinced you need me?  What would you say is the least important phrase for me to ranking these pages for on Google?  If you aren’t thinking the candidates name you should email me.  I’ll explain after the election or ya best ask in person.

Future post I’ll explain why IP based Digital Marketing is so 2001!  Don’t do it…its technically and human behaviorally flawed.

Just in case anyone was worried I have not disclosed anything that someone can learn within a little bit of research concerning my candidate’s sites. All the secret sauce is still in the bottle.

Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped

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