By: Cory Done, Director of Research
When you consider making a big purchase — like a phone, computer, or vehicle — you want to have more information about that product than less. Many of us use experts and consumer advocacy groups, which provide the right information to help you make a well-informed purchase.
Deciding between two political candidates involves a similar thought process. Politicians often share many similarities, including what they say they would do if elected. As a candidate, it is important you give voters the information they need to make the right decision on Election Day. That information should include what your priorities and plans are for the office you are seeking, but also how you and your opponent differ. That is where opposition research becomes useful.
Opposition research is a process that involves the discovery and documentation of personal, professional, or political misconduct in a political candidate’s history. This information is found by combing through public records (property records, tax records, court documents, and police reports, for example), newspaper articles, website content, social media, and online activity. The voting records of elected officials are also thoroughly examined. When the research phase is completed, a report of the findings is compiled to provide campaigns with a well-documented picture of their opponent’s background, political beliefs, and policy goals.
Once you and your campaign have this information, you can test its effectiveness in the field through polling and use the results to shape an effective message. Opposition research prepares a candidate to make fundraising appeals, speak to the press, or debate an opponent.
A common objection to opposition research is the fear of “negative campaigning” instead of “sticking to the issues.” Opposition research actually empowers a campaign to draw clear distinctions between candidates and focus on issues that matter to voters. If another candidate is wholly unfit for office, voters have the right to know and make a decision based on facts, not empty rhetoric.
We want to equip your campaign with the information you need to reach voters with a winning message that sets you apart from the competition. To learn more about our research product, delivery times, cost and more, contact us today! (firstname.lastname@example.org)