Newspaper article Roll Call

The Hill Staffer Campaign Trail Survival Guide

Newspaper article Roll Call

The Hill Staffer Campaign Trail Survival Guide

Article excerpt

It's October! Which brings postseason baseball (sorry, Nationals) and the return of football. It's the end of iced coffee and the overly sweet arrival of latte concoctions like pumpkin spice and cinnamon dolce.

It also brings the dog days of campaign season, with just 13 days to Election Night. But who's counting?

During an election season, Capitol Hill staffers are likely to spend their hard-earned free time volunteering on the campaign trail. Maybe just a few days, maybe a few weeks, but get ready for some door-knocking, turf-cutting, cold-calling, or -- just holding signs on a highway and cheering.

Whatever you're doing, it's going to be vastly different than your day-to-day life as a hill staffer.

Hill Navigator is here to help. Here is an updated list of things to know going in to the campaign trail. For some this will be a euphoric experience, a chance to make new friends and see new parts of the country. For others -- be warned -- there is heartbreak ahead. There are no participation trophies on Election Night. But these tips from Hill Navigator may help cushion whatever rough landing might be in store. Good luck!

1. There's no line between work and home. Often this is because you don't have a home, as many campaign staffers rely on supporter housing, which can vary from guest-bedroom suites to fold-out basement futons. On a campaign, the line between work and home becomes even more blurry. You're there to win. And winners work all the time.

2. It's you vs. the elements. Say hello to fall foliage. Welcome to campaign mode, where outdoor events are part of the charm. From Election Day canvassing to sticking yard signs in the interstate medians, you'll be out and about. In some parts of the country, it snows in October -- like Iowa, Colorado or Alaska. There are no such things as rain delays on Election Day. …

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