How Marco Rubio lost – helped by failing to get his grassroots campaign right

Despite being highly touted earlier in the race to be the US Republican Presidential nominee, Marco Rubio is now out of contention. What went wrong for his campaign?

Rubio’s strategy was always an inside straight—overly reliant on a candidate’s ability to dominate free national media in order to outperform, outwit and eventually outlast a wide field of rivals…

So while other campaigns touted “shock and awe” fundraising networks and precise, psychographic analytics and voter targeting operations, Rubio’s tight-knit group of mostly 40-something bros believed wholeheartedly that they didn’t need a specific early-state win. They didn’t need a particular political base. They didn’t need to talk process. They didn’t need a ground game. They didn’t need to be the immediate front-runner.

All they needed was Marco…

And when Rubio stumbled, as all candidates do, there was no infrastructure to catch him, no field program to lift his support, no base to fall back upon.

All they had was Marco. [Politico]

Or in other words, whilst grassroots organisation can’t propel you to victory on its own (see other past failures), it is usually a vital part of the winning mix, especially given its protective role when you face adversity. Grassroots organisation can’t propel you to victory, but it can keep you in the game when things go bad.

As for how you get a good grassroots operation, there’s a book you might find useful…

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