Updating The Political Campaign Playbook

Political campaigns can be changed to reflect the latest best practices of marketers. Marketing has increasingly become an effort to connect with customers at an earlier point in their decision-making process.

I look at how political campaigns are run and compare that effort to get out the vote, to the methods of business to business marketing that aren’t always effective.

If you are selling customers just before the customer purchases. You’ve already lost the opportunity to convince the customer to choose your product.

Today marketers understand how buyers purchase by conducting extensive research on buyers. The buyers are split into different groups dependent upon how the buyers purchase products. The purchase process is called the buyer’s journey. Content is created for each stage of the journey, not only at the purchase stage. The journey consists of the following stages:

  1. Consideration – At this point, the buyer may not even be thinking they need to make a change, but it’s how they get to that point.
  2. Research – The buyer is actively engaged in deciding, and today, a lot of that effort is the buyer doing their own research. With peers, family, and colleagues.
  3. Purchase – As it suggests the buyer purchases.
  4. Post purchase – Does the customer become an advocate, buy more. This stage is tough for most companies as marketing is often focused on the stages right up to purchase.

Political campaigning appears to consist of contacting voters right before they are going to make their vote. At a time when the opposition, the competition is also heavily active.

What if we spent more time on the consideration and research stage of the voter decision stage of the process, and less on frantically trying to get people to vote at the vote stage?

Many marketers have concluded that focusing on the purchase stage loses a lot of opportunity in making sales.

I’m coming to the same conclusion about campaigning. If you want to get out the vote, Democrats need to be creating content for each stage of the voter journey.

Using the Voter Journey Method

Here are a few ideas about incorporating the current methods for marketing into campaigning.

  • Research the voters, split them into different groups based on how they make their decision. This involved talking to voters.
  • Create messaging and content that meets the needs of each stage of the buyer journey. Most content I receive from political organizations consists of bashing the other side and then making a request for money. It’s ineffective and just turns voters off. Instead provide content that answers voter questions about issues they are interested in.
  • Continue your get out the voter efforts, but by doing a better job of campaigning before the election your efforts should be more targeted and effective on the day.
  • Continue to engage voters beyond the election, this is often the most important time. If you want to keep your voters onboard create content and engagement that keeps them voting for you.


The 15% Rule – Democratic Conventions

Known as the 15% rule. There’s a requirement in the Massachusetts Democratic Party that candidates for state wide office receive fifteen percent of the State party delegate vote at the State Convention to appear on the ballot for office.

Folks disagree with the rule, proclaiming the rule should be changed.

Dan Cohen on “15% rule promotes insiders, has to go: Mass. voters prefer CEOs, outsiders.”

Jerfold Duquette on “Party Matters Matter.

And in the article “Time to kill 15% Rule before it kills the Dem Party.”

Bargaining Chips

One view on the 15% rule for Democratic party politics here in Massachusetts. The rule means that its possible to encourage delegates to all vote the same way. Local party leaders secure the votes of the delegates to vote for one candidate. The leader will call in their chip with the candidate if they win the election.

The ability to negotiate delegate votes for favors puts value on continuing to hold caucuses. Over and above a DTC holding regular town committee meetings.

The 15% rule gives real power to local political committees, and elected delegates. What’s crucial to understand is that the requirement for voting at a caucus is that the voter be a registered Democrat.  Anyone can encourage, recruit, solicit, and amass a significant number of regular registered Democrats to vote for delegates at a caucus.

The ability of any registered Democrat to vote in a caucus is different from Democratic Town Committees, where the  members are restricted to a small pool of 35 elected members. DTC members have to be elected members to vote on executive committee decisions or for officers.

41% of Massachusetts Democratic Town Committees are Spending Money

Massachusetts has a reputation for being Democratic.  New research into the financial activity of Democratic Town Committees indicates that all is not well with the bedrock of the Democratic party here in the Bay State.

41% of Democratic Town Committees (DTC) in Massachusetts are filing financial reports, and only 31% of committees spent more than $100 in 2016. The new map of financial expenditures is especially surprising when shown next to the map of Connecticut, where 96% of DTCs are spending money.

While expenditures in a year is not an indicator of electioneering. Financial activity is an indicator that something is happening within a committee. And so this information does indicate that a large majority, 60-70% of democratic town committees in Massachusetts, are not very active. While 65-70% of Democratic Town committees have filed Statements of Organization with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign Political Finance www.ocpf.us.

Democratic Town Committees Massachusetts Expenditures 2016
41% of Massachusetts Democratic Town Committees are spending Money








Compare this map to Connecticut.

Democratic Town Committees in Connecticut Expenditures 2016
Democratic Town Committees in Connecticut Expenditures 2016

Table Showing Receipts and Expenditures

Here’s a table of Democratic Town Committees ordered by the town that spent the most money in 2016. Those towns with ‘n’ for receipts and expenditures didn’t file anything with the office in 2016.

Democratic Town Committee  Total Receipts   Total Expenditures
Worcester DEMCC  $  26,666.37  $    26,423.31
Gloucester DEMCC  $  28,147.26  $    25,429.57
Cambridge DEMCC  $  22,217.00  $    22,649.34
Barnstable DEMTC  $  20,680.69  $    16,722.82
Lynn DEMCC  $  13,811.00  $    11,825.71
Newton DEMCC  $    8,842.00  $    11,373.26
Falmouth DEMTC  $    7,337.00  $       9,773.00
Longmeadow DEMTC  $    8,185.00  $       8,646.70
Quincy DEMCC  $    9,601.00  $       8,536.56
Ipswich DEMTC  $    5,798.00  $       7,584.44
Framingham DEMTC  $    5,602.85  $       7,446.33
Arlington DEMTC  $    7,145.39  $       7,181.83
Easthampton DEMTC  $    3,244.95  $       6,220.08
Marblehead DEMTC  $  11,711.68  $       6,207.02
Brookline DEMTC  $  10,895.00  $       6,135.76
Wellfleet DEMTC  $    8,010.00  $       5,769.30
Brockton DEMCC  $    6,114.00  $       5,629.96
Easton DEMTC  $    4,225.00  $       5,579.54
Plymouth DEMTC  $    3,290.00  $       5,339.13
Lexington DEMTC  $    7,127.05  $       5,299.03
Yarmouth DEMTC  $    4,670.00  $       5,292.17
Middleborough DEMTC  $    4,419.80  $       5,280.82
Chatham DEMTC  $    7,520.00  $       4,887.21
Malden DEMCC  $    6,350.00  $       4,723.96
Northampton DEMCC  $    5,802.05  $       4,701.50
East Bridgewater DEMTC  $    4,756.65  $       4,574.10
North Andover DEMTC  $    4,288.00  $       4,427.53
Needham DEMTC  $    3,893.58  $       4,357.50
Methuen DEMTC  $    3,890.00  $       4,161.96
Clinton DEMTC  $    5,274.15  $       4,114.90
Franklin DEMTC  $    5,148.50  $       4,045.52
South Hadley DEMTC  $    2,863.50  $       3,956.22
Southampton DEMTC  $    3,518.36  $       3,898.25
Holyoke DEMCC  $    3,635.70  $       3,877.53
Haverhill DEMCC  $    3,925.00  $       3,821.79
Weymouth DEMTC  $    4,413.50  $       3,727.33
Sandwich DEMTC  $    1,190.00  $       3,355.64
Hingham DEMTC  $    3,107.84  $       3,195.71
Wakefield DEMTC  $    4,218.00  $       3,093.82
Danvers DEMTC  $    2,660.00  $       2,793.83
Melrose DEMCC  $    1,555.00  $       2,716.28
Cohasset DEMTC  $    2,010.00  $       2,692.27
Brewster DEMTC  $    2,332.70  $       2,427.00
Orleans DEMTC  $    2,269.42  $       2,424.40
Tewksbury DEMTC  $    3,355.00  $       2,389.40
Somerville DEMCC  $    4,541.99  $       2,353.75
Mansfield DEMTC  $    2,090.00  $       2,343.87
Marshfield DEMTC  $    1,170.00  $       2,281.57
Ashland DEMTC  $    2,302.00  $       2,168.02
Sturbridge DEMTC  $    2,216.62  $       2,167.13
Andover DEMTC  $    2,025.14  $       2,100.74
Medway DEMTC  $    2,418.45  $       2,044.45
Shrewsbury DEMTC  $        480.00  $       1,990.69
Amesbury DEMTC  $    1,453.11  $       1,978.21
Sudbury DEMTC  $        745.00  $       1,968.50
Waltham DEMCC  $    1,505.00  $       1,900.08
Auburn DEMTC  $    3,508.00  $       1,857.35
Saugus DEMTC  $    1,415.00  $       1,851.25
Norwood DEMTC  $        789.21  $       1,803.64
Watertown DEMTC  $    4,685.44  $       1,779.38
Boxford DEMTC  $        825.00  $       1,743.98
Grafton DEMTC  $    2,105.00  $       1,729.76
Holliston DEMTC  $    1,480.00  $       1,699.45
Acton DEMTC  $    1,581.41  $       1,641.08
Bourne DEMTC  $    1,155.00  $       1,635.50
Beverly DEMCC  $    1,896.19  $       1,615.87
Duxbury DEMTC  $    1,615.00  $       1,603.15
Carver DEMTC  $        382.00  $       1,573.07
Provincetown DEMTC  $    2,355.52  $       1,520.00
Attleboro DEMCC  $    2,145.00  $       1,503.40
Peabody DEMCC  $        980.00  $       1,463.99
Harwich DEMTC  $                 –  $       1,400.00
Holden DEMTC  $    1,396.13  $       1,361.41
Groton DEMTC  $    1,575.00  $       1,237.43
Stoneham DEMTC  $    1,240.00  $       1,210.00
Norwell DEMTC  $        380.00  $       1,203.99
Rockland DEMTC  $        365.00  $       1,200.00
Sharon DEMTC  $    2,285.00  $       1,151.25
Natick DEMTC  $    1,566.00  $       1,151.08
Billerica DEMTC  $        500.00  $       1,141.24
Revere DEMCC  $    1,200.00  $       1,105.00
Becket DEMTC  $        325.00  $       1,063.80
Newbury DEMTC  $    1,135.62  $       1,036.53
Salisbury DEMTC  $    1,588.76  $       1,026.90
Leicester DEMTC  $        885.00  $          973.75
Swampscott DEMTC  $        600.00  $          961.12
West Newbury DEMTC  $    1,467.97  $          923.25
Hanover DEMTC  $        863.00  $          909.99
Eastham DEMTC  $        720.00  $          908.00
Rockport DEMTC  $        501.43  $          887.99
Wellesley DEMTC  $    2,339.43  $          852.13
Reading DEMTC  $        520.00  $          839.06
Scituate DEMTC  $        368.01  $          836.90
Wayland DEMTC  $        725.00  $          825.00
Bellingham DEMTC  $        525.00  $          802.23
Bridgewater DEMTC  $    1,233.97  $          795.34
Nahant DEMTC  $        865.26  $          778.60
Fall River DEMCC  $                 –  $          770.89
Bedford DEMTC  $        464.01  $          716.17
Hopkinton DEMTC  $        544.17  $          679.00
Norton DEMTC  $        209.00  $          553.21
Groveland DEMTC  $        775.00  $          527.50
Burlington DEMTC  $        735.00  $          500.00
Mattapoisett DEMTC  $        340.00  $          481.71
Medfield DEMTC  $        656.62  $          474.02
Newburyport DEMCC  $    1,057.00  $          468.00
Truro DEMTC  $        484.00  $          451.21
Littleton DEMTC  $        575.00  $          425.00
Dover DEMTC  $    2,333.01  $          425.00
Marlborough DEMCC  $        380.75  $          419.00
Shutesbury DEMTC  $        410.83  $          416.28
Stockbridge DEMTC  $        330.38  $          400.37
Dracut DEMTC  $        370.00  $          350.00
Greenfield DEMTC  $        274.00  $          286.00
Canton DEMTC  $        335.00  $          278.11
Hudson DEMTC  $        350.00  $          267.19
Southwick DEMTC  $          60.00  $          265.78
Lynnfield DEMTC  $                 –  $          259.78
Westborough DEMTC  $        500.00  $          251.98
Maynard DEMTC  $        170.01  $          250.00
North Reading DEMTC  $        675.00  $          250.00
Springfield DEMCC  $                 –  $          231.00
New Salem DEMTC  $        185.00  $          225.00
Oxford DEMTC  $                 –  $          200.00
Monterey DEMTC  $          80.00  $          175.00
Amherst DEMTC  $        340.00  $          170.00
Nantucket DEMTC  $    1,644.00  $          161.75
Salem DEMCC  $        325.00  $          135.00
Rutland DEMTC  $        125.88  $          114.30
Pepperell DEMTC  $        185.00  $          112.50
Great Barrington DEMTC  $          80.00  $          100.00
Hull DEMTC  $        360.00  $             93.75
Northborough DEMTC  $            5.00  $             80.00
Mendon DEMTC  $          66.00  $             65.00
Athol DEMTC  $        149.00  $             64.00
Woburn DEMCC  $        838.97  $             58.80
Milton DEMTC  $        350.00  $             50.00
Phillipston DEMTC  $        170.00  $             45.00
Walpole DEMTC  $        100.00  $             20.00
Berlin DEMTC  $        100.00  $             18.80
Hadley DEMTC  $        190.00  $             15.00
Dighton DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Ashburnham DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Ashby DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Belchertown DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Deerfield DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Egremont DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Lancaster DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Rehoboth DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Townsend DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Randolph DEMTC  $          15.00  $                    –
Wilbraham DEMTC  $        183.07  $                    –
Sterling DEMTC  $        225.00  $                    –
Wilmington DEMTC  $    1,135.00  $                    –
Berkley DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Lee DEMTC  $        170.00  $                    –
Manchester DEMTC  $    1,300.00  $                    –
Southborough DEMTC  $                 –  $                    –
Uxbridge DEMTC  $        110.00  $                    –
Westfield DEMCC  $          20.00  $                    –
Abington DEMTC  n  n
Acushnet DEMTC  n  n
Adams DEMTC  n  n
Agawam DEMTC  n  n
Alford DEMTC  n  n
Aquinnah DEMTC  n  n
Avon DEMTC  n  n
Ayer DEMTC  n  n
Barre DEMTC  n  n
Belmont DEMTC  n  n
Bernardston DEMTC  n  n
Blackstone DEMTC  n  n
Blandford DEMTC  n  n
Bolton DEMTC  n  n
Boston DEMCC  n  n
Boxborough DEMTC  n  n
Boylston DEMTC  n  n
Braintree DEMTC  n  n
Brimfield DEMTC  n  n
Brookfield DEMTC  n  n
Buckland DEMTC  n  n
Carlisle DEMTC  n  n
Charlemont DEMTC  n  n
Charlton DEMTC  n  n
Chelmsford DEMTC  n  n
Chelsea DEMCC  n  n
Cheshire DEMTC  n  n
Chester DEMTC  n  n
Chesterfield DEMTC  n  n
Chicopee DEMCC  n  n
Chilmark DEMTC  n  n
Clarksburg DEMTC  n  n
Colrain DEMTC  n  n
Concord DEMTC  n  n
Conway DEMTC  n  n
Cummington DEMTC  n  n
Dalton DEMTC  n  n
Dartmouth DEMTC  n  n
Dedham DEMTC  n  n
Dennis DEMTC  n  n
Douglas DEMTC  n  n
Dudley DEMTC  n  n
Dunstable DEMTC  n  n
East Brookfield DEMTC  n  n
East Longmeadow DEMTC  n  n
Edgartown DEMTC  n  n
Erving DEMTC  n  n
Essex DEMTC  n  n
Everett DEMCC  n  n
Fairhaven DEMTC  n  n
Fitchburg DEMCC  n  n
Florida DEMTC  n  n
Foxborough DEMTC  n  n
Freetown DEMTC  n  n
Gardner DEMCC  n  n
Gay Head DEMTC  n  n
Georgetown DEMTC  n  n
Gill DEMTC  n  n
Goshen DEMTC  n  n
Gosnold DEMTC  n  n
Granby DEMTC  n  n
Granville DEMTC  n  n
Halifax DEMTC  n  n
Hamilton DEMTC  n  n
Hampden DEMTC  n  n
Hancock DEMTC  n  n
Hanson DEMTC  n  n
Hardwick DEMTC  n  n
Harvard DEMTC  n  n
Hatfield DEMTC  n  n
Hawley DEMTC  n  n
Heath DEMTC  n  n
Hinsdale DEMTC  n  n
Holbrook DEMTC  n  n
Holland DEMTC  n  n
Hopedale DEMTC  n  n
Hubbardston DEMTC  n  n
Huntington DEMTC  n  n
Kingston DEMTC  n  n
Lakeville DEMTC  n  n
Lanesborough DEMTC  n  n
Lawrence DEMCC  n  n
Lenox DEMTC  n  n
Leominster DEMCC  n  n
Leverett DEMTC  n  n
Leyden DEMTC  n  n
Lincoln DEMTC  n  n
Lowell DEMCC  n  n
Ludlow DEMTC  n  n
Lunenburg DEMTC  n  n
Marion DEMTC  n  n
Mashpee DEMTC  n  n
Medford DEMCC  n  n
Merrimac DEMTC  n  n
Middlefield DEMTC  n  n
Middleton DEMTC  n  n
Milford DEMTC  n  n
Millbury DEMTC  n  n
Millis DEMTC  n  n
Millville DEMTC  n  n
Monroe DEMTC  n  n
Monson DEMTC  n  n
Montague DEMTC  n  n
Montgomery DEMTC  n  n
Mt Washington DEMTC  n  n
New Ashford DEMTC  n  n
New Bedford DEMCC  n  n
New Braintree DEMTC  n  n
New Marlborough DEMTC  n  n
Norfolk DEMTC  n  n
North Attleboro DEMTC  n  n
North Brookfield DEMTC  n  n
Northbridge DEMTC  n  n
Northfield DEMTC  n  n
Oak Bluffs DEMTC  n  n
Oakham DEMTC  n  n
Orange DEMTC  n  n
Otis DEMTC  n  n
Palmer DEMTC  n  n
Paxton DEMTC  n  n
Pelham DEMTC  n  n
Pembroke DEMTC  n  n
Peru DEMTC  n  n
Petersham DEMTC  n  n
Pittsfield DEMCC  n  n
Plainfield DEMTC  n  n
Plainville DEMTC  n  n
Plympton DEMTC  n  n
Princeton DEMTC  n  n
Raynham DEMTC  n  n
Richmond DEMTC  n  n
Rochester DEMTC  n  n
Rowe DEMTC  n  n
Rowley DEMTC  n  n
Royalston DEMTC  n  n
Russell DEMTC  n  n
Sandisfield DEMTC  n  n
Savoy DEMTC  n  n
Seekonk DEMTC  n  n
Sheffield DEMTC  n  n
Shelburne DEMTC  n  n
Sherborn DEMTC  n  n
Shirley DEMTC  n  n
Somerset DEMTC  n  n
Southbridge DEMTC  n  n
Spencer DEMTC  n  n
Stoughton DEMTC  n  n
Stow DEMTC  n  n
Sunderland DEMTC  n  n
Sutton DEMTC  n  n
Swansea DEMTC  n  n
Taunton DEMCC  n  n
Templeton DEMTC  n  n
Tisbury DEMTC  n  n
Tolland DEMTC  n  n
Topsfield DEMTC  n  n
Tyngsborough DEMTC  n  n
Tyringham DEMTC  n  n
Upton DEMTC  n  n
Wales DEMTC  n  n
Ware DEMTC  n  n
Wareham DEMTC  n  n
Warren DEMTC  n  n
Warwick DEMTC  n  n
Washington DEMTC  n  n
Webster DEMTC  n  n
Wendell DEMTC  n  n
Wenham DEMTC  n  n
West Boylston DEMTC  n  n
West Bridgewater DEMTC  n  n
West Brookfield DEMTC  n  n
West Springfield DEMTC  n  n
West Stockbridge DEMTC  n  n
West Tisbury DEMTC  n  n
Westford DEMTC  n  n
Westhampton DEMTC  n  n
Westminster DEMTC  n  n
Weston DEMTC  n  n
Westport DEMTC  n  n
Westwood DEMTC  n  n
Whately DEMTC  n  n
Whitman DEMTC  n  n
Williamsburg DEMTC  n  n
Williamstown DEMTC  n  n
Winchendon DEMTC  n  n
Winchester DEMTC  n  n
Windsor DEMTC  n  n
Winthrop DEMTC  n  n
Worthington DEMTC  n  n
Wrentham DEMTC  n  n

A Call To Action for Massachusetts Democratic Town Committees

This information was gathered to inspire Democrats to participate in their democracy. These numbers show there’s a lot of work for Democrats to do in Massachusetts. Consider calling your Congress Rep, your Senator, your State house rep and State Senator, and asking them to help coordinate the effort to revitalize their local Democratic Town Committees.

We are phone banking House races around the country, let’s phone bank Super Democrats in towns here in Massachusetts to ask them to participate in their local Democratic Town Committee.

We are giving money to candidates for Congress, Senate, and State house and Senate, let’s ask them to bolster with resources and treasure local Democratic Town Committees that are not strong, so that come the next election, those same committees will help elect Democrats to seats here in Massachusetts.

96% of Connecticut Democratic Town Committees are Spending Money!

Democratic Town Committees in Connecticut Expenditures 2016
Democratic Town Committees in Connecticut Expenditures 2016

Connecticut is a state where Republicans are seriously giving the Democrats a run for their money, the State Senate has parity with Senators, and Democrats only have a slight majority in the State House. In local politics, we find there’s a high chance, 96%, that a Connecticut Democratic Town Committee will spend.

Though the expenditure statistic doesn’t tell us where the cash is being spent, most hopefully, on electioneering and canvassing, where Democratic Town Committees do spend it’s an indicator that the committee is active.

Reviewing the expenditures spent by Democratic Town Committees in 2016 I was surprised to find 96% of committees are financially active. Especially after having previously discovered 41% of Democratic Town Committees in Massachusetts are spending.

Why the difference Between MA & CT?

Why are Massachusetts Democratic Town committees so inactive compared to their counterparts in Connecticut? It could be various reasons, one, there’s more reason to be active, in Massachusetts the State House has a Super majority while Connecticut is much more competitive for Republicans.

Though I wonder what else is happening in the state at the local level, it’s not just that 96% of DTCs are spending money, at the top end of spending, Towns in Connecticut are raising high amounts, in the thirty-thousand-dollar level.

What do you think? Why are Connecticut Democratic Town Committees so much more active compared to their counterparts in Massachusetts?

Problems With The Data?

I think there are some problems with the data. I pulled the financial expenditures by local political committee off the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website. In a couple of instances, I’m seriously wondering whether all the reported data for each town is correct? It seems strange that two towns, Glastonbury and Somers, spent more than the Connecticut Democratic State Party, especially as both towns have so few reported expenditures for the rest of the year. However, I’m leaving the data in, until updated by the state or reported by the town DTC, to highlight the potential issue with the data.

Here’s the table showing each expenditure by Democratic Town Committee in Connecticut, lowest amount first to highest, then the list of towns that didn’t report any expenditures. I also left the Connecticut Democratic State Party expenditures for 2016 in the table for comparison.

Analysis of The Presidential Election

Reviewing the results of the Presidential Election, check out this map of data from ProudNewEnglander on DailyKos about the Presidential Election. Is there any correlation between low funding for Democratic Town Committees and Republican wins?

Connecticut Presidential Election Results
Map of Connecticut Presidential Election Results


Committee  Amount
North Stonington Democratic Town Committee  $            60.00
Granby Democratic Town Committee  $            72.66
Union Democratic Town Committee  $            90.72
Salem Democratic Town Committee  $          103.43
Bethlehem Democratic Town Committee  $          109.00
Colebrook Democratic Town Committee  $          118.32
Sterling Democratic Town Committee  $          134.78
Lisbon Democratic Town Committee  $          173.20
North Canaan Democratic Town Committee  $          196.24
Scotland Democratic Town Committee  $          199.50
Voluntown Democratic Town Committee  $          233.10
Ellington Democratic Town Committee  $          248.57
Canaan Democratic Town Committee  $          260.79
North Branford Democratic Town Committee  $          365.00
Easton Democratic Town Committee  $          373.48
Winchester Democratic Town Committee  $          374.70
Chaplin Democratic Town Committee  $          394.89
Griswold Democratic Town Committee  $          411.24
Monroe Democratic Town Committee  $          441.00
Eastford Democratic Town Committee  $          446.14
Cromwell Democratic Town Committee  $          450.00
Morris Democratic Town Committee  $          489.59
Avon Democratic Town Committee  $          591.40
Sprague Democratic Town Committee  $          650.00
Southbury Democratic Town Committee  $          652.86
Cornwall Democratic Town Committee  $          661.74
Hebron Democratic Town Committee  $          669.60
New Hartford Democratic Town Committee  $          683.84
Beacon Falls Democratic Town Committee  $          689.73
East Granby Democratic Town Committee  $          718.00
Thomaston Democratic Town Committee  $          839.85
Norwich Democratic Town Committee  $          865.58
Ledyard Democratic Town Committee  $          878.77
Brooklyn Democratic Town Committee  $          915.78
Andover Democratic Town Committee  $          938.25
Columbia Democratic Town Committee  $          947.51
Harwinton Democratic Town Committee  $          950.69
Bolton Democratic Town Committee  $      1,110.51
Willington Democratic Town Committee  $      1,120.30
Thompson Democratic Town Committee  $      1,145.45
Canterbury Democratic Town Committee  $      1,179.30
Windsor Locks Democratic Town Committee  $      1,266.30
Norfolk Democratic Town Committee  $      1,281.94
Canton Democratic Town Committee  $      1,372.02
Burlington Democratic Town Committee  $      1,377.02
Goshen Democratic Town Committee  $      1,407.20
Woodstock Democratic Town Committee  $      1,426.75
Shelton Democratic Town Committee  $      1,442.99
Oxford Democratic Town Committee  $      1,447.18
Plainfield Democratic Town Committee  $      1,500.27
North Haven Democratic Town Committee  $      1,508.94
Sharon Democratic Town Committee  $      1,513.11
Wallingford Democratic Town Committee  $      1,540.75
Prospect Democratic Town Committee  $      1,626.28
Hartford Democratic Town Committee  $      1,790.56
Hampton Democratic Town Committee  $      1,796.67
Washington Democratic Town Committee  $      1,868.61
Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee  $      1,967.14
East Windsor Democratic Town Committee  $      2,146.28
Putnam Democratic Town Committee  $      2,146.63
Watertown-Oakville Democratic Town Committee  $      2,211.01
Haddam Democratic Town Committee  $      2,321.84
Rocky Hill Democratic Town Committee  $      2,324.67
New Fairfield Democratic Town Committee  $      2,418.71
Middlebury Democratic Town Committee  $      2,521.48
Montville Democratic Town Committee  $      2,529.89
Kent Democratic Town Committee  $      2,547.59
Killingworth Democratic Town Committee  $      2,568.12
Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee  $      2,579.87
Westbrook Democratic Town Committee  $      2,659.68
Ansonia Democratic Town Committee  $      2,718.46
Suffield Democratic Town Committee  $      2,722.60
Lebanon Democratic Town Committee  $      2,812.73
Lyme Democratic Town Committee  $      2,934.42
Pomfret Democratic Town Committee  $      3,029.63
Sherman Democratic Town Committee  $      3,295.24
Tolland Democratic Town Committee  $      3,343.47
Woodbury Democratic Town Committee  $      3,576.17
Ashford Democratic Town Committee  $      3,592.55
Stafford Democratic Town Committee  $      3,806.79
East Haven Democratic Town Committee  $      3,808.66
Marlborough Democratic Town Committee  $      3,903.33
Enfield Democratic Town Committee  $      4,142.18
East Haddam Democratic Town Committee  $      4,152.80
Wolcott Democratic Town Committee  $      4,180.83
Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee  $      4,634.88
New London Democratic Town Committee  $      4,730.77
Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee  $      4,862.70
Madison Democratic Town Committee  $      4,895.38
Portland Democratic Town Committee  $      5,039.49
Chester Democratic Town Committee  $      5,148.36
Litchfield Democratic Town Committee  $      5,150.24
Weston Democratic Town Committee  $      5,195.72
Plymouth Democratic Town Committee  $      5,240.61
Coventry Democratic Town Committee  $      5,652.53
Farmington Democratic Town Committee  $      5,998.68
Plainville Democratic Town Committee  $      6,014.60
Waterbury Democratic Town Committee  $      6,144.16
East Lyme Democratic Town Committee  $      6,293.22
Redding Democratic Town Committee  $      6,518.11
Windsor Democratic Town Committee  $      6,695.83
Middletown Democratic Town Committee  $      6,748.39
Clinton Democratic Town Committee  $      7,157.34
East Hampton Democratic Town Committee  $      7,215.62
East Hartford Democratic Town Committee  $      7,355.49
Derby Democratic Town Committee  $      7,552.82
Colchester Democratic Town Committee  $      7,602.76
Vernon Democratic Town Committee  $      7,827.31
Deep River Democratic Town Committee  $      7,998.31
Cheshire Democratic Town Committee  $      8,086.03
Seymour Democratic Town Committee  $      8,383.66
Newtown Democratic Town Committee  $      8,388.89
Brookfield Democratic Town Committee  $      8,591.03
Killingly Democratic Town Committee  $      8,644.45
Torrington Democratic Town Committee  $      8,884.12
Wilton Democratic Town Committee  $      8,963.96
Bloomfield Democratic Town Committee  $      9,105.79
Salisbury Democratic Town Committee  $      9,340.03
Newington Democratic Town Committee  $      9,560.36
Windham Democratic Town Committee  $      9,975.62
Norwalk Democratic Town Committee  $    10,006.67
South Windsor Democratic Town Committee  $    10,042.76
Preston Democratic Town Committee  $    10,097.60
Darien Democratic Town Committee  $    10,283.28
Stratford Democratic Town Committee  $    10,420.34
Simsbury Democratic Town Committee  $    10,493.51
Hamden Democratic Town Committee  $    10,685.52
New Canaan Democratic Town Committee  $    10,993.36
Essex Democratic Town Committee  $    11,207.16
Bethany Democratic Town Committee  $    11,288.51
New Milford Democratic Town Committee  $    11,659.82
Waterford Democratic Town Committee  $    12,041.80
Berlin Democratic Town Committee  $    12,490.59
Bethel Democratic Town Committee  $    12,621.25
Southington Democratic Town Committee  $    12,655.64
Orange Democratic Town Committee  $    13,327.96
New Britain Democratic Town Committee  $    13,375.75
Groton Democratic Town Committee  $    13,445.95
Milford Democratic Town Committee  $    13,984.29
Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee  $    14,366.65
Wethersfield Democratic Town Committee  $    14,483.57
Meriden Democratic Town Committee  $    14,594.28
Stonington Democratic Town Committee  $    15,803.90
West Haven Democratic Town Committee  $    16,555.23
New Haven Democratic Town Committee  $    16,792.75
Guilford Democratic Town Committee  $    16,861.40
Durham Democratic Town Committee  $    16,936.57
Mansfield Democratic Town Committee  $    17,712.26
Trumbull Democratic Town Committee  $    18,570.48
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee  $    18,941.28
West Hartford Democratic Town Committee  $    19,055.57
Bristol Democratic Town Committee  $    21,138.87
Branford Democratic Town Committee  $    21,275.62
Westport Democratic Town Committee  $    21,503.76
Middlefield Democratic Town Committee  $    22,230.01
Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee  $    26,750.02
Fairfield Democratic Town Committee  $    28,705.14
Danbury Democratic Town Committee  $    31,123.40
Stamford Democratic City Committee  $    34,405.45
Manchester Democratic Town Committee  $    34,566.35
Democratic State Central Committee  $  106,628.80
Glastonbury Democratic Town Committee  $  117,042.98
Somers Democratic Town Committee  $  880,675.22










Progress With Organized Democratic Committees

We’ve seen some progress with the number of organized Democratic committees being organized since my last map was created in February.  24 new towns appear on the map.

Organized Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts
Organized Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts

Here’s the list of towns added to the map:

  • Adams 3/27/2017
  • Avon 4/5/2017
  • Brookfield 3/24/2017 error
  • Chester 4/6/2017
  • East Longmeadow 3/31/2017
  • Georgetown 2/21/2017
  • Lenox 3/31/2017
  • Lunenburg 3/22/2017
  • Monson 3/29/2017
  • New Marlborough 4/4/2017
  • Paxon 4/3/2017
  • Pelham 3/2/2017
  • Plainville 3/22/2017
  • Princeton 4/3/2017
  • Rowe 3/16/2016 error
  • Rowley 3/29/2017
  • Seeknonk 3/2/2017
  • Stoughton 11/4/2016 error
  • Sudbury 6/27/2016 error
  • Upton 3/3/2017
  • Wareham 3/10/2017
  • Wayland 12/14/2016 error
  • Webster 4/5/2017
  • Wendell 2/27/2017
  • West Springfield 3/31/2017
  • Westwood 2/21/2017
  • Worthington 3/21/2017

Problems With Data

You’ll notice five of the organized democratic committees have notations next to them with the word “error”. I pulled the statement of organized Democratic local political committees from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance’s website. There’s a report we can download that lists every town’s date of organization since last Spring’s Presidential Primary.

A colleague noticed on my original map that Stoughton wasn’t organized, yet it had been, and the paperwork had been sent into the OCPF.

Interestingly,  the data is in the individual OCPF reports by filtering. However, for some reason for Stoughton this data wasn’t pulling the date of the Statement of organization in the overall report of towns in Massachusetts.

Based on this finding, I went back and checked all of the towns in Massachusetts and found four more “errors”.

Stoughton’s chair had contacted the OCPF and had already updated their file, so the data was downloading correctly, but the other four towns were still not correctly pulling data. This week I let the Auditor at the OCPF know about the error, and hopefully the towns will be updated. It would also be good to find out why the problem occurred.

The problem was that while the statement of organization is listed in the Correspondence Tab, if you check the Summary tab the date isn’t pulling.

Percentage of Organized Towns

We’ve jumped from 61% to 68% in the number of organized Democratic town committees.
Organized doesn’t mean a committee is actively participating though. And without a direct survey, with calls to each chair or committee it’s tough to easily determine how many committees working on elections.

My other map of financial activity does provide some insights. I believe 41% of DTC’s file financial data with the State. But only 31% of town committees spend more than $100 on the part of the committee.

Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016
Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016

Newly Organized Democratic Committees – Braintree

I’m missing one town, Braintree, as this week the Braintree DTC organized and now has a full slate of officers. The committee hadn’t met for five years to discuss committee business except for caucuses. The previous chair was re-elected chair.

Financial Activity Of Democratic Town Committees In Massachusetts

Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016
Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016

41% of Democratic town & city committees are active in Massachusetts.

That’s my latest conclusion from reviewing the financial records for democratic local committees for 2016 from the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Here’s what I base my data on:

In 2016, there were three opportunities for Democratic Town & City committees to file financial data with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

  • Pre-Primary
  • Pre-Election
  • Year End

In each report period a committee could file receipts or expenditures.

I used this data to build a map of town & city committees in Massachusetts and rate each local political committee.  Giving a ranking of one point for each filing, and one point if any funds were received or expended within one of the 3 periods in 2016 for a total of 12 potential points.

In addition, those town and city committees that were in the top 10% of committees that received contributions or expended funds, the committee received an additional 1 point for top 10% receipts or expenditures for an additional 2 points.

One reason I’ve settled on financial data as a way to judge activity at a local political committee, is because after creating my first map of organized Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts. I discovered that in Connecticut doesn’t have a requirement for towns to file a statement of organization as towns and cities do in Massachusetts. In fact there are a few differences with how local political committees are run in Connecticut compared to Massachusetts. For one, there are primaries every two years in Connecticut, while only every four years in Massachusetts.

As I intend to compare a number of States in their level of local political committee activity,  I need metrics that cut across the States. Financial data, the amount of expenditures spent and contributions received is data that each state will collect.

Financial data is a good indication of what local committees are doing. If all a committee does is collect contributions, and doesn’t spend anything, is that committee really active? I think not, so expenditure is probably the most important metric. And once you do start spending money, you need more money, so contributions follow.

The Missing Data In Braintree

If a committee is filing financial reports with its town, that means there’s enough activity happening to indicate the committee must be doing something.

Though my own town of Braintree hasn’t met as a committee for a number of years, our Treasurer continues to file reports despite the fact that there’s no activity. No money spent, no money collected.

So Braintree would still receive 3-6 points for filing. Except, in pulling my data from the State website, there’s no activity registered by the state in their complete local political committee spreadsheet. Yet for Braintree I do see evidence of filing. So, either the data isn’t being pulled, or its because Braintree hasn’t filed its Statement of Organization since 2012.

The Map

Here’s the Map of Massachusetts where all of the towns and cities that have turned in financial data are colored in on a scale of 1 to 14. 1 being lowest, and 14 highest. The scale is colored, 1 is dark red, and 14 is dark blue. Any blank or white towns didn’t submit data, or like Braintree, there’s some sort of error and the data isn’t being pulled by the State.

Now, I used a scale of red to blue, but I’m open to ideas about the color system, one party member suggested starting with orange or yellow. What do you think of the map, and the state of the party in MA?

Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016
Democratic Town & City Committees in Massachusetts Financial Data Rating for 2016



How Organized Are Democratic Town Committees in Massachusetts?

Organized Democratic Town Committees In Massachusetts

Working to make the Braintree Democratic Town Committee more active. I began to explore democratic town committees and their data on the Massachusetts Office of Campaigns and Political Finance website http://www.ocpf.us.

Democratic Town Committees

From that research, we now have more accurate numbers on the number of organized or un-organized Democratic town committees. Since the Presidential Primary in 2016. I believe 39% of town and city committees across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have not filed statements of organization in the last year

So, 61% of town committees are active. Apparently, there are 352 towns and cities in Massachusetts, per the excel sheet from the Mass Office of Political Campaigns and Finance. Which is odd because I thought there were only 351 towns and cities. I think I’ve discovered the issue, the town of Aquinnah changed its name from Gay Head 20 years ago.

However, if we include ward committees, there are 642 town, city and ward committees, of which 60.5% are active, or 39.5% non-active.

All this information is freely available through the Secretary of State’s Office. Now there maybe committees that are active but haven’t filed. Though if a committee hasn’t filed its Statement of Organization in 2017, the committee is  unorganized and really behind.

Republican Town Committees

Reviewing the Republican Town Committees, it looks as if 48% are active and 52% non-active in the Commonwealth. Interestingly, Gay Head or Aquinnah doesn’t have a Republican Town Committee, so we have 351 Republican town committees.

By the way, the Boston City Committee is non-functioning, and hasn’t organized since 1989. Mayor Menino was the last City Committee chair. Several Boston Ward committee are active and organized, but not all of them in the city.

Check out both the infographic on active Democratic Town & City political committees.

Organized Democratic Town Committees In Massachusetts

What do you think of this information?

Update 3/27: After some feedback from folks around the State, I decided to change the title of the infographic to organized instead of active.


Committee Democrats – Definition

Those Democrats who were not politically active before the 2016 election, and who were motivated to get involved with their local Democratic Party at the Town, City or State level because of the election of President Trump.

Characteristics of Committee Democrats are:

– A focus on grassroots organizing.

– Less concerned about making political points between different groups within the Democratic party, and more concerned with getting results.

– Willing to collaborate, but also concerned with providing constructive criticism of the existing political infrastructure.

– Willing to suggest changes to the existing political structure to make our democracy work.

I’ve been looking for a term to describe what we’ve been doing here on the Democratic Action Group. Though some might wonder why do we need a new term at all, and we just call ourselves Democrats! Anyway, I thinkCommittee Democrats describes what’s been happening up and down the Commonwealth at a local level.

I was inspired in part by this article about Annette Grady and her efforts to organize the Plainville Democratic Town Committee and it struck a cord with me around our efforts in Braintree.