Thursday, November 10, 2005

Strategy Notes

Still sorting through what happened on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, everyone has an opinion, but some are more interesting than others. Here are a few extracted from this article in today's WashPost:

In Virginia, Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore ran against Tim Kaine as though he were Ted Kennedy. We saw those TV spots: "liberalliberalliberal!" Said Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin, "It's not just that they [the GOP] lost these elections, but that none of their old tricks worked that they've relied on to give them the edge in close contests."

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) added that the GOP's reliance on cultural issues, popular with rural voters, "are just blowing up" in suburban and exurban communities. "You play to your rural base, you pay a price," he said.

Gay-bashing ain't all that popular with swing voters. In fact, negative campaigning in general gains you nothing much with swing voters. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) said, "...if you run in most of the swing states, for every progressive voter there are probably two swing voters. You've got to appeal to the moderate voters. Swing voters do not respond well to partisanship and to negative campaigning. What they're really looking for are people with integrity and people trying to solve their problems."

What El Presidente seems to have achieved by his election-eve campaign visit to Virginia on behalf of Kilgore is ... political leprosy. Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) told radio show host Don Imus yesterday that he does not want the president's help: "No, not at this time." Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), facing a tough reelection race next year, will not appear at a Bush event in Pennsylvania tomorrow.

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