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View Diary: TX-28: Post mortem (265 comments)

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  •  Oh please (none)
    There is no prize for second place in elections, Ciro lost. Let's face it, elections are not won behind keyboards.

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 10:44:26 AM PST

    •  Good point.....but (none)
      I think we have to look at this as a learning experience.  To my knowledge we haven't exactly challenged an incumbent in this way before.  It's something we need to start thinking about more seriously.....and further in advance than this time.  Let's look at the whole party and it's elected officials and decide who needs to be challenged...and get challengers lined up with funding well in advance of primaries so that we will have a chance.
      •  eggszelent (none)
        couldn't agree more

        But I want to see less time spent putting together flyers, stuffing mailboxes, etc.  I want to see Dems totally drop old school campaigning.  I want to see us spend every dime on tv ads showing the candidate explaining their vision, their qualifications, pointing out in a constructive way why they are a better candidate than their gop opponent.

        I would like for every dem candidate to ask that attack ads not be used in by outside groups to disparage their opponent.

        I agree, to a point, with the "they do it and it works" view of smear campaigns.  But thats why we can't pull it off:  We are trying to campaign on ideas and morality and ethics.  You can't campaign on the "good guy" stance if you turn around and try and smear the opponent at every turn.

        The biggest factor in a winning campaign is exposure.  Radio is great, interviews in written press are great, but TV lets the people see you, see your strengths, hear your vision, watch your body language.  Its like Bush:  to see him during the Kerry debates you would think he had the brain of a gnat (he does) but what the voters pay attention to is the TV ads where he's in a staged environment where he looks cool and comfortable (though still a moron) but its the appearance of stability and genuineness that strikes the chord.

        Thats what Dems need.  I've said it since the Dem primaries:  Kerry would have won if he would have gone Ross Perot on the US, if the Dems would have spent a few mil a week on buying 15 minutes of TV where Kerry got to stand up and explain his ideas in full on national TV, like Perot did, he would have found those few thousand votes he was missing in a few key states.  The biggest complaint about Kerry, and all losing candidates (who aren't convicted felons) is:  "We didn't know him well enough."

        Mailings are impersonal, a voice on a radio is impersonal, an email is impersonal, town hall meetings and live TV are personal.  In my state, CO, attack ads don't work.  They alienate voters.  Marilyn Musgrave is the single worst human being in our state.  She wins because she follows the Rovian rule:  any publicity is good publicity if you spin it right.  Outside groups funding attack ads on Musgrave have shown her to be a psychotic immoral bitch.  Her response is "Why are they picking on me?  I'm really not like that.  Why can't they debate the issues?  They're meanspirited people who don't have a message, they just attack to hide that they don't stand for anything."  And it works.  Kerry could have won for a variety of reasons but he lost because he wouldn't respond to the Swifties, he wouldn't expose himself to the national media on a regular basis, and he wouldn't answer the "flip-flopper" tag with facts (he did, but not often enough or loud enough for any to notice).

        Exposure to the populace is the key.  Open town hall meetings is the key.  Fence riders (swing voters) want to vote for the best candidate.  But they will settle for who they know if no one else gives them a reason to believe that their message is better than the opponent's.  GOTV is fine, but it doesn't matter if the people don't feel like they have a strong vested interest in voting for a candidate.  Face it, elections are popularity contests and the only way you can win a popularity contest is to be out in the public eye on a daily basis.  Everything a candidate does should be followed by the local TV news crew.  Who cares if they do the same for the oopponent, in a popularity contest, with equal face time, the person with the best ideas wins.  In Kansas or other diehard red states having the better ideas may not be enough, but show them that you are Kansan with good morals, ethics, and good ideas at least you'll have a chance.  

        Seriously, not enough has been done to reframe the debate on things like gay marriage, abortion and the other wedge issues.  Dems are scared of alienating people.  The truth won't alienate; it will educate!  The more you educate the electorate, the better chance the Dems have of changing the minds of the voters.  Until we make reframing these issues a priority we will continue to suck hind tit in traditional Repub states.

        That is all.

    •  People don't buy books, meet spouses, or (none)
      go to flea markets behind keyboards either. Any suggestion that they do, or ever would, is preposterous.

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