Written By D.
There have been so many political races over the years whose outcomes were determined by the misdeeds or missteps of the incumbent. The challenger wins, not because he had a better campaign or was a better candidate. He wins because the other guy is so bad.
In NJ Whitman didn’t beat Florio, Florio did. Whitman was a toss away candidate who was expected to lose. In Alaska, Stevens beat Stevens.
We are too quick to list races as unwinnable because during the course of a campaign, anything can happen. The trick is to be prepared with a viable candidate who can capitalize on it and to be able to provide the resources to assist them.
Also, there have been many Reps in the House who had to run more than once to get elected, including Newt Gringrich who got elected on the third time he ran.
I think we write candidates off too quickly. First, the party encourages them to run because they want to have someone on the ticket in every race, but then they are left out there on their own without resources. They become the self fulfilling prophecy. They often end their campaigns in debt and discouraged, and certainly unwilling to take on another campaign, when in some cases, that is exactly what they should do.
If a candidate manages to get 40% of the vote in an election, you could say, “Well he got beat good 60 to 40.” Or you could say, “Let’s spend the next couple years finding the 10% + 1 more votes we need to win this race.” Selecting the best candidates is important but supporting them in a continued effort is equally important.
I don’t live in la la land and I understand that the party’s limited resources have to be spent on the most competitive races. But when I was a kid my grandfather used to take me to the racetrack. He’d sit there studying the racing form and in each race he’d make a bet on two horses - one would be listed among the favorites and one would be a long shot. One day I asked him why he bet that way. He told me that while, over the years, he had won more races betting on favorites, he actually had won more money betting on long shots. He also told me it was a lot more thrilling to win on a long shot!
I figure if the party bets on some long shots and takes the “we are in it for the duration” approach to making inroads we might just start making some inroads. It sure beats abandoning the field of battle and throwing good people away.
My suggestion would be that the RNC form a special group of contributors who are willing to bet their money on the long shots. There are always gamblers out there! I also would suggest that they tap the resources of retired political consultants who would be willing to donate free time to advising candidates in these races.
My grandfather was right … of all the many political races I consulted over the years, winning the long shots were the most thrilling for me!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Written By D.