Calculating Your Vote Goal - National Democratic Training Committee

Calculating Your Vote Goal

By Kelly Dietrich
75 min

Course Outline

  • 3 Videos
  • 2 Quizzes
  • 3 Activities (2 hours)
What You Need
  • Vote totals for the office you’re running for (3+ elections worth)

What You’ll Learn

  • How to project the number of votes you need to win
  • How to estimate the number of base voters whose votes you can count on
  • How to estimate the number of voters in your persuasion universe (the people you will try to convince to vote for you)

Why This is Important

The goal of your entire campaign is to earn the votes you need to win. So calculating the number of votes you’ll need should be one of your very first steps. Everything else in the campaign stems from this one number — your vote goal.

Key Resources

  • Key Field Numbers Workbook — A step-by-step guide to calculating your vote goal
  • Precinct-Level Results Table — A worksheet to help you organize the data from past elections
  • Sample Field Plan

Related Trainings

  • VoteBuilder 101 — Introduces you to the software that Democratic campaigns across the country use to develop their voter contact plan. Using this software will help you organize your field efforts and reach your vote goal
  • Targeting Voters — Helps you identify and reach the voters that you’ll need to gain support from in order to win (best for campaigns that are not using VoteBuilder)
  • Field Tactics — You’ll learn how to implement the best voter outreach practices. Getting people to vote for you is not easy, but by using our strategies your team will be well on its way to reaching your vote goal

Kelly Dietrich


As founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), Kelly Dietrich brings more than 20 years of experience on dozens of Democratic campaigns across the country.

Kelly started NDTC in 2016, where at the time it was a collection of videos covering an array of campaign topics, available to campaigns and their volunteers for free. Five years later, those videos grew into a fully fledged training program with hundreds of courses, videos, and articles about running effective campaigns. Kelly’s expertise in various areas — fundraising, staff training, sci-fi (maybe not as much) — have shaped NDTC into an industry leader in Democratic politics.

Originally from Missouri, Kelly lives in Chicago, IL with his wife, daughter, and dog, Tulip, who is allegedly part cat. Beyond work, Kelly is a diehard Kansas Jayhawk and an avid poker player. Kelly also serves on the board of directors at his local park, Sheil Park. This is where he “plays” basketball, which according to his wife can only be loosely considered a hobby. Even with all these interests, Kelly remains committed to making sure high quality tools and training are available to any Democrat who steps up to run for office, work on a campaign, or make their community better.