Let’s say that there’s less then a month left until Election Day.  Your political campaign is entering the home stretch.  With only weeks left until the voters go to the polls, your campaign needs to be ready to make that final push to get voters to the polls and ensure victory.  There’s a lot of work to be done, but victory can be yours.  Here are five steps you can take now to prepare for Election Day:

1.  Put Your GOTV Team in Place

Your get out the vote (GOTV) operation is essential to winning.  Many campaigns try to “wing it” when it comes to GOTV.  Don’t make that mistake.  Instead, write out a detailed plan for your Election Day activities now.  Gather and train a team, and set deadlines and goals.  An organized, well-planned get out the vote effort can add as much as 2-5% to your vote total.

2.  Allocate Resources

Campaigns are a game of limited resources.  You only have so much time, money, and manpower to do all of the things you need to do to win.  With only a month left until Election Day, sit down with your key staff to decide how many resources you have left and where these resources are most important.  With a set amount of money and people in the campaign, figure out what is left to be done.  Prioritize your list based on which things are absolutely necessary for success.  Revise your campaign plan to allocate your resources to these areas.

3.  Prepare a Response

Even squeaky clean candidates are vulnerable to an attack during the final weeks of a campaign.  A desperate opponent may decide to hurl a bomb at your campaign as it enters the home stretch.  The best way to deal with these attacks is to be prepared.  Sit down with your team to decide what potential attacks your challenger might wage, and then prepare a brief plan to respond to each.  It’s important that you save enough money in an “emergency fund” to act on your response plan if your opponent decides to go on the offensive.

4.  Fundraise!

The final weeks of a campaign are fertile fundraising ground for campaigns.  Voters are just starting to wake up to the fact that there is a race and that they can get involved.  People who wouldn’t have contributed to your campaign in March are more likely to give in October.  Every campaign needs to utilize this time to fundraise, even in cases where the candidate is unopposed.  Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity to build your warchest for this campaign and next.

5.  Motivate Your Team

The final days of a campaign can be tough on volunteers and staff, who in many cases have worked long hours for many months doing the same tasks over and over again.  In order to win, though, you’ll need your team to be energized and focuses during the final months of the campaign.  Now is a great time to thank your staff and volunteers for their efforts, and reward them for their work.  Consider having a staff/volunteer party, giving each team member a personalized thank you note and small gift, etc.  Don’t forget to give your team a motivational pep talk to reignite their passion for winning your race.