Can a Primary Challenge Be a Good Thing?
As usual, the answer to this depends. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects (and yes, there can be many) – consider a few positive things that can turn a challenging situation into a campaign advantage.
Getting Your Campaign off to a Great Start! Take advantage of this opportunity to jump-start your campaign operations. Get your campaign manager in place, form a winning campaign strategy and campaign plan, define your platform, develop your branding and get a strong team of volunteers together and activated. An early deadline to get these things done will ensure that you feel prepared all the way through the general election.
Raise More Money! Yes, you do have to spend some of that money to defeat your challenger. But it is hard to raise vital campaign funds long before your general election. A primary gives a sense of urgency to your donors so they will be willing to give you needed contributions earlier in the cycle.
Name Recognition! A primary will give you an extra chance to put out signs, advertise and work on direct voter contact. This is especially valuable if your general election opponent does not have a primary challenger.
Confidence! Elections are tough – especially for a first time candidate. A primary can be a great way to get familiar with the process, improve your public speaking skills and get accustomed to the rigors of the campaign trail in a generally “friendlier” environment.
A Win! Winning is contagious – and coming off a primary win can be a great boost to your general election campaign.
We don’t recommend running out and seeking a primary challenge. It is important though to figure out the advantages and focus on how the situation you are in can be a benefit to your campaign.