(Image From Alice Funke, Pundits Guide)
There are probably still people who think that Ryan’s 2009 run was a fluke. Sure, he came out of nowhere to finish second to one of the most experienced politicians of the last 30 years while beating out a sitting MLA and a former party President. But really, they ask, how much are you going to get tested when you go up against someone who has front-runner status from the moment he announces and never relinquishes that spot for the duration of the race?
That’s why so many people were watching the current race to see if Ryan could do it again, prove the doubters wrong and actually exceed his performance in 2009.
This time, Ryan’s no longer the virtual unknown. He’s no longer the youngest person in the contest. He’s no longer a (relative) political neophyte.
The dynamics of this race are totally different too – all four candidates are young men in their 30’s with fewer distinctions between their policy approaches than was the case in 2009. There are two sitting MLA’s who are relatively equal in everything from their time as an MLA to their qualifications to the strong base each has in Saskatchewan’s two major cities. There’s not a major “Anybody But…” movement against one of the four candidates happening (at least that I’m aware of.)
That’s why it’s been so gratifying to see that Ryan has not only met but (so far) greatly exceeded his performance last time, out-performing all of his rivals, including the two MLA’s who are much more experienced at running political campaigns (although, to be fair, Ryan’s the only one who’s run a leadership campaign though presumably, both Trent and Cam would’ve had big roles in previous leadership campaigns, successful or otherwise.)
By most quantifiable measures, Ryan is leading the pack and leading it significantly, especially in the three areas where the NDP most needs improvement – fundraising, selling memberships and outreach to new members via social media and other techniques.
The Story of the #skndpldr Race (as of February 14, 2013)
|Cam Broten||Ryan Meili||Erin Weir||Trent Wotherspoon|
|Best Single Month||$20,000||$30,000||$15,000||$24,000|
|Facebook “Talking About”||141||469||8||163|
There are so many other measures that aren’t public (or at least easy to quickly figure out) but Ryan seems to be doing well in most of these as well.
- Most individual donors under $250
- Most active social media team
- Most innovative use of technology from releasing smartphone apps to hosting the campaign’s only RedditAMA to using online video for livestreaming and “Touts”
- Most positive media mentions
- Least self-funding of campaign by candidate
- Least self-funding by candidate’s family and/or candidate’s senior advisors
Membership Has Its Privileges
But arguably, the most important measure in the race, especially for a party seeking to renew itself, is number of memberships sold. Unfortunately an exact breakdown of how many each campaign sold isn’t public . What we do know is that there were approximately 8,000 memberships at the start of the race and there are now over 11,000.
The Meili campaign was responsible for bringing in somewhere around half of those (though I’m not sure if those are all new or a mix of new & renewals.) But either way, Meili’s total is still a hugely impressive number.
Whether they were selling to new or renewing members, one thing I know is that the Meili campaign had a Membership Sales Leaderboard as an incentive for our “Green Team” members. Personally, I sold over 30 memberships and *still* only finished in 14th place!
Still, the recent Praxis poll seems to indicate that the race is pretty much a three-way heat between Ryan, Trent and Cam at this point. So the ultimate measure of who’s been the most successful candidate is still to be revealed. That answer will come in a just under a month when the ballots are counted.
As they’re voting, I’m hopeful the membership recognizes the success Ryan has had exactly in the areas where it is most needed – fundraising, membership sales and outreach to new members via social media and other methods. And that they vote accordingly!
Next – #1 – ???
PS – I know this series is focused on the reasons I’m supporting Ryan but in the interests of unity, I thought I’d acknowledge one quantitative area where each of the other candidates has led the pack:
Cam Broten – Most MLA Endorsements
Erin Weir – Most effective at getting media attention for issues he raises
Trent Wotherspoon – Most miles covered