Saturday, November 15, 2003

Why Jindal lost

This blog is still on hiatus and will be for a month or two, but I have to comment a little about how Bobby Jindal managed to blow a ten point lead in the last week and lose the governor's race. There are several things that you could point to, but a couple of the biggest were the poor GOTV effort and the poor ads by the Louisiana Republican Party this week.

I live in a house with 4 other registered Republicans, and I don't think we got a call this week asking us to vote. Certainly, no one knocked on our door. Reporters only talk about message -- and message is important -- but campaign tactics are important too, and I certainly saw no evidence of a systematic voter ID and turnout campaign.

The ads talked about Blanco going negative (which is an old story) and said that Blanco even claimed that Jindal wanted to let women die. The Louisiana Democratic Party did in fact say that -- but the state GOP actually did Blanco a favor with their ad, because all they did was repeat the accusation without discrediting it. The ad's tone was mean-spririted, which violates the cardinal rule of campaigning when a man is running against a woman. Voters feel sorry for the woman if the man attacks her in a mean-spirited way, and those ads were awful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Going on hiatus

Unfortunately, I've had some things come up in my personal life that are going to require me to stop blogging for a while. I can't imagine not writing here on a regular basis, so I don't know how this is going to work out, but it has to. Maybe I'll be able to explain in a month or two when I've got things sorted out. In the meantime, I'll value your prayers. Thanks for reading.

Democrats (now desperate) smear Jindal

As Bobby Jindal maintains a lead in the range of 5 to 8 points in most polls, the state Democratic Party is worried about low turnout leading to a Jindal landslide. So they decided to mail a piece alleging that Bobby Jindal "is willing to let Louisiana women die" because of his opposition to abortion. That's a lie, as Jindal supports allowing abortions when necessary to save the life of the mother.

Timshel can complain if he wants that the candidates are complaining too much about negative campaigning, but I think Jindal is right to be "offended" by this smear.

Bad trends for the Dems

Mort Kondracke noticed the Pew numbers that I remarked on below. He writes on GOP gains in key swing states and adds:

Current approval ratings have yet to factor in an improving economy - the 7.2 percent third quarter growth rate, surging productivity and reduced numbers of new jobless claims - all of which are bound to help Bush.

Extravagant Democratic attacks on Bush's credibility and trustworthiness have caused no dents in his reputation. An October Zogby International poll showed that 56 percent of voters are "proud" to have Bush as president and only 26 percent "ashamed." By 64 percent to 31 percent, they consider him "honest and trustworthy."

It would seem that Bush's re-election rides on one thing: success or failure in Iraq. At this point, according to Pew, 60 percent of voters say that going to war was the right decision and only 33 percent say it was not. Democrats, who think it was wrong by a margin of 54 percent to 39 percent, are out of step - for now.

Kondracke is right. If Bush wins the peace in Iraq, then he will coast to re-election. Otherwise, we Republicans may find the election to be a long, hard slog.

Dick Morris is right about Clark

Dick Morris is one of those people who is often brilliant and just as often totally full of it. You need a good BS detector to read his columns or listen to him on TV.

Today is one of those days when he nails it. He points out that the Wesley Clark boomlet is over and that the campaign all really comes down to Iowa. If Gephardt wins, there will be a real fight for the nomination, and you can construct scenarios where a number of candidates win (though Dean would still be strongly favored). On the other hand, if Dean wins in Iowa, then it's all over.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?