That is why he wants you to attend his book club. He believes there is substance in Eitan Hersh’s book, Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change. Kevin explains, “The reason I selected this book is because I believe that our Democratic organizations need to use our resources more strategically. We have a finite amount of time and money, not to mention districts that are not drawn in our favor, so we have little margin for error if we expect to win close races.”

Kevin believes that we primarily have two resources: time and money. By time, he is talking about volunteer time. With that volunteer time, he says, “We have a responsibility to make sure that we’re always choosing the options that will get us the most votes.” He insists that it is the same with the finite amount of money we have in our budgets. “We have to spend every dollar in a way that gets us a maximum return on our investment.” In order to maximize our dollars, he believes we should “make a list of all the ways we could contact voters that would directly lead to voter registration and voter turnout, then consult existing research to select the options that will get us the most votes per dollar.”

When asked how we could maximize our volunteer time, he referred back to the book. Politics is for Power. “Hersh would say that we need to spend less time on political hobbyism and more time on political power building. Hobbyism is whenever you’re engaged in politics in a way that is not going to lead to getting more votes. More time is spent talking about politics, especially politics as entertainment, than registering voters or enrolling people in vote by mail. Many of us were guilty of this during the Trump presidency, and in order to win we need a little less talk and a lot more action.”

Kevin grew up in Volusia County, and has lived here his whole life. He is now married, with two children. He is the administrator of Stetson’s Community Engagement team where he connects students and faculty to local non-profit and government organizations focusing on issues of social justice, and he teaches in the Stetson Honors Program.

He first became involved in local politics through the Northwest Democrat Club in 2008 during the Obama campaign. He found himself often frustrated by the lack of planning and resources available to Democrats. As a result, he spent the last 15 years “learning as much as I can about research and best practices of political campaign management.” Around the state, he’s led more than 80 full-day trainings for over 3,000 candidates and party leaders – more than any other Democratic or progressive trainer in Florida over that time. He also spent two election cycles doing candidate coaching and consulting for county, state, and federal races across the US. As he puts it, his objective is to “help our candidates, caucuses, clubs, and committees turn best-practice into common practice.” 

“Politics is for Power helps us develop a return-on-investment mind-set. It provides us with strategies to turn theory to practice.” To learn how you can become more effective in your political involvement, please register to attend Kevin Winchell’s book club by clicking the link below.

Sandra Haxton is a political writer and Activist, who strongly believes that all change begins on a local level. She is a member of NW Dems of Volusia County.


  1. Donna Pepin

    I am reading the book now. True, we need to move into active participation.

  2. Andy Ferrari

    I can not get enough of Kevin’s insight on campaigns, I feel like we all need to take his classes just so we I understand the juggernaight we are up against. Sandy great write up! Thank you!