If You Read Just One Thing Today
Neil Newhouse and Glen Bolger explain it all to us in Sunday’s Washington Post. While the piece is based on their experience polling for two recently successful Republican campaigns, McDonnell in Virginia and Brown in Massachusetts, it strikes me that some Democrats might prosper by adopting pieces of the strategy. None of it will work without checking the first box: You must have quality candidates. Republicans don’t hold the patent on those.
Between now and November, plenty of Republican hopefuls will reveal themselves as hopeless as a Coakley.
We’ve seen dramatic shifts in the popularity of parties and presidents in the last few decades. Something different that Bolger and Newhouse suggest is that negative advertising may be diminishing as a tool of political discourse and persuasion. What will campaigns do with all those grainy photos of opponents they’ve collected? Who will employ the menacing voice talent?
UPDATE: Neil Newhouse says in an email that negative advertising still works, but not if it’s perceived as “desperate.”