David Brat Shows David Can Beat Goliath Using Principles from "Underdog Edge" Book

David Brat Shows David Can Beat Goliath Using Principles from "Underdog Edge"                                      Book  PR Newswire  CINCINNATI, June 17, 2014  CINCINNATI, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Not all underdogs are equal, and David Brat's victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia's 7^th district is an example of someone who used the underdog edge to win, according to Amy Showalter, author of "The Underdog Edge," a guide to help citizens accomplish change in Washington, DC., as well as their local districts.  "Context plays a great deal in political campaigns, and the stars aligned at the right time for him. However, he does exhibit several characteristics of winning underdogs," said Showalter, who has consulted with grassroots organizations and associations who want to affect change in government.  "Not all underdogs win. Just because you are perhaps trying harder than another more well-funded opponent, powerful interest group, or business rival, does not mean that you are going to be successful. According to our research for Underdog Edge, we found that winning underdogs are different. They use extreme influence tactics to succeed," she said.  These underdog edge tactics David Brat used to win can be used by any organization that wants to influence public opinion or work effectively with an elected official  1.He had street cred. He has a Ph.D. and is an economics professor. He knew     his stuff. We know from the Edelman Trust Barometer research that     academics are viewed as one of the most credible professions, whether     their views are liberal or conservative. 2.He used unconventional tactics. Malcolm Gladwell's book David and Goliath     also found that underdogs simply do not play by the same rules as their     Goliath opponents. Brat stated that he "gave 30-minute stump speeches on     issues, and people actually listened to them." He was assuming his     electorate was smart and did not dumb down his message - - definitely an     unconventional political tactic. 3.He had a connected team member. No underdog wins alone. Winning underdogs     have a team. And the differentiating factor is at least one team member     who is highly connected. See: Ingram, Laura. Her national radio show     constantly promoted Brat and his stance on immigration. 4.He is nice. Brat did not engage in negative campaigning against Cantor,     and said that he respects Cantor as a person and was keeping his campaign     about ideals and principles. (Make no mistake, however, research shows     that negative ads do work, which is why everyone uses them). But again,     this was an unconventional tactic and an example of "nice" behavior that     gave his opponents little to criticize him about. 5.Brat has grit. Who would want to take on the House Majority Leader? You     have to have extreme fortitude to undertake that effort. That means Brat's     got grit. And grit requires willpower, the ability to control yourself, to     not say the wrong thing in the wrong situation, as we have seen from     other candidates who aspired to defeat well-entrenched incumbents,like     the "I am not a witch" Christine O'Donnell. 6.Eyes up. Brat kept his eyes up into his big dog's (the voter's) world by     listening to their concerns and focusing on them at the right time. If the     debate over immigration had not been fired up by the recent influx of     children of undocumented workers crossing the border, would that issue had     as much resonance, benefitting Brat? Fair or unfair, context matters, and     the savvy underdog knows when to pounce on the existing context to make     their message resonate.  About Amy Showalter  Amy Showalter's clients include major corporations such as International Paper, Monsanto, Pfizer, and national organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the United States Green Building Council.  SOURCE Amy Showalter  Contact: Amy Showalter, amy@showaltergroup.com, 513-762-7668  
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