The election is finally over. I am surprised by the number of lawyers who are using social media sites to express their glee or despair over the results. I am sure they feel good sharing their opinions. In fact, I can tell that many have written their heart felt beliefs about the future of our country. But, like many things that can be written and shared on social media, expressing strong political convictions is not a good client development strategy.
If you think your political advocacy does not matter, consider:
- Approximately 49% of the population disagree with you. (See: It’s a 50-50 nation, give or take)
- Politics is discussed in conversations more now than ever before. (I personally liked the Leave it to Beaver days.)
- We can no longer have a civil conversation on politics with someone strongly affiliated with the other party. (See: Civility in political discourse)
- The number and the intensity of the negative political ads reached an all-time high in 2012. (I was happy to live in Texas rather than a swing state.)
- More people, including businessmen and women and lawyers are tweeting their strongly held political views. (See: Election Night Hits Record High: 20 Million Tweets.
- The election has not ended the negative political posts (See a Lynchburg, VA TV Station Post: Voters Post Political Opinions & Election Reactions on Twitter & Facebook. I was not aware that defriending is a word.)
If nothing else, the 2012 election has taught us just how divided our country is and how the demographics of the electorate are changing. I saw both an AP Exit Poll Demographics Summary and a conservative writer’s blog titled: Marriage Gap Around 20 Points Or Greater, More Than Double The Gender Gap.
As best I can put together the demographic divide of the electorate, it appears:
Romney got more votes from:
- Voters 40 and over
- People who are married
- Catholics who attend mass at least once a week
- Incomes over $50,000
- College Graduates
Obama got more votes from:
- Women (but not married women)
- Blacks, Hispanics, Asian and other
- Voters 18-40
- Catholics who attend mass less than once a week
- Religions other than protestants and catholics
- Incomes under $50,000
- Less than college graduates, plus those with post college degrees
People tend to “know, like and trust” people with whom they share something in common. After this very bitter election I predict that will include sharing political philosophy. In fact, I see the day when clients will decide they prefer not to do business with lawyers who are strong advocates of the other political party. Until that day, I don’t see anything to be gained by letting your potential clients learn your political views.