Monday, January 4, 2010

"If the election were held today, we'd lose the House"

So sayeth Democratic campaign consultant Tom King, in an article posted at HuffPo. King expresses an opinion shared by a number of his colleagues; the Democrats are in trouble:
Democratic incumbents face the most threatening political environment since the Republican landslide of 1994 -- and they know it.

The trends are all moving in the wrong direction. Voters are shifting to the right; white antipathy to the President has intensified; the popular consensus backing Obama and his agenda has collapsed in less than a year; and a growing number of center-conservative House Democrats are jumping ship.
Lovely how the article must make a point of inserting race with the claim there is growing white antipathy to Obama.   Newsflash, the antipathy has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his policies, but I digress.  Democrats, of course, have just brilliant strategies for weathering the storm in the midterms:
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says that as soon as her clients know who their opponents will be, her advice is "to get them [the Republican candidates] defined." Democratic candidates, Lake and others say, should pre-empt Republicans seeking to present a positive image to the public. Among the techniques to achieve this goal are floating negative stories in the press, taking full advantage of sympathetic bloggers to create a hostile portrait of the GOP opponent, and actively using "less visible" means of communication such as phone banks, direct mail, and canvassers.

In this atmosphere, consultants say the key advice for Democratic incumbents is: "Don't get on the defensive, don't allow [the Republican] to define you." Along similar lines, Joe Trippi, who has managed a host of campaigns, including overseeing Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, says that any incumbent facing a challenger emerging from the Sarah Palin, Tea Party wing of the GOP "should make sure that's known right away, before they get up populist steam."

Another Democratic consultant with clients running in House, Senate and gubernatorial races, speaking on background, says "basically it comes down to one thing. You've got to kick the shit out of somebody."
Sweet!  I am not a political strategist, so far be it from me to give Democrats advice, but they might want to rethink that strategy.  Stoking the fire fueling the populist steam might just cause the pot to boil over .  Never in my wildest imagination did I think they wouldn't take the fears and concerns of voters at least somewhat seriously.   Pelosi pointed the way, however, when she claimed those who opposed health care were Nazi's.  It seems Democrats have missed the point, again.  Thanks for the heads up though, we'll keep any eye out for that shit kicking.

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