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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Yes, Virginia, There is a John Kerry

Posted by DavidNYC

I'm surprised I missed this one last week: John Kerry, who boldly put up ads in CO & LA, is going on the airwaves in Virginia to the tune of $750 grand. So far, Team Bush isn't up in VA... and how do ya like this: Bush has gone off the air in LA! So Kerry is advertising in 20 states, while Bush is only running ads in 18. Now that's a headline I'd like to see. (This, by the way, is part of a new $17 million June ad blitz, now that the $25+ million May extravaganza has wrapped up.)

VA is winnable this year - if we have our Bowers-projected landslide. But more realistically, I think VA is headed in our direction for good, due to demographic shifts and the growth of the more liberal northern VA suburbs around DC. Chris's chart shows a consistent narrowing of VA's pro-GOP partisan index over the last four elections (with just a slight uptick in 2000). In a few more elections (say, one or two), I think the Republicans will have decidedly lost their lock on Virginia. Seeing as the state is fast-growing enough to add two EVs over the last half-century, this would be an especially good development for us.

On a related note (though this is more Luke's area of expertise than mine), I'm very pleased that Kerry is going to be unveiling ads targeted toward black and Latino voters. Though the NDN has already begun airing ads aimed toward Hispanics, it's important for Kerry to make his own outreach efforts. I think the minority vote will be crucial in certain swing states, such as PA and FL.

One topic I'd like to see in such an ad: the draft. I think the odds of the draft being brought back are still quite low, just because it's such a political poison pill. But it's still possible - and more importantly, the idea is being talked about and written about in the press. As we know, poor, young minority men were vastly over-represented in the ranks of Vietnam draftees. Let's make sure this never happens again.

A friend tells me that KRS-ONE recently spoke about the draft at a hip-hop/political event - in short, the idea has currency. John Kerry ought to run with it, and considering he served so honorably it Vietnam, he's got the cred to do so.

P.S. The "Larry Sabato is clueless" watch continues:

"I find it odd," Sabato said. "I can think of a half-dozen states that Bush won [in 2000] where this would make more sense than in Virginia."

So can I, dimwit - and John Kerry is already up on the air in each of those states. In fact, he's on the air in 10 of them. Does he mean that Kerry should spend his $750K in Ohio instead of VA? That's hardly worth it. First off, Kerry gets tons of free media simply for going up in Virginia. Second, it's a "gesture of strength," as Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill explains. And third, it shows that Kerry isn't "writing off the South," which is important in keeping local political machines interested in supporting Kerry and in helping the downticket races.

Larry Sabato, get a clue.

Posted at 03:32 AM in Virginia | Technorati


I grant, of course, that Bushco's internal polling might show them so far ahead in LA that they just simply aren't taking Kerry's bait there any longer. I find that a little hard to believe, though, in the face of Bush's generally abysmal poll numbers. Then again, a recent (quasi-Republican) poll in LA did show Bush with a somewhat stunning 19-point lead.

Posted by: DavidNYC at June 1, 2004 03:41 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'll add another reason why campaigning in VA makes sense: It puts Bush on the defensive, which means he has less money to spend in blue states and that's probably a good thing when Kerry is winning.

I'm no political guru, but a large lead in LA doesn't surprise me. I can't explain why, but I've had the impression LA would go to Bush all along. On a related note, Bush ads are still running regularly here in Arkansas and it's been awhile since I've seen one from Kerry.

Posted by: LiberalAce at June 1, 2004 08:05 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Virginia is winnable by the Dems. I looked at the Presidential election results over the past few cycles and Virginia is definitely withing striking distance for the Dems. Clinton only lost VA by 150K votes (2%)in 1996 and it was fairly close in 2000 and 1992 also. Apparently VA is trending Democratic, especially in the northern DC suburbs. Remember VA is the only state ever to elect a black person to the office of Governor. I imagine VA is more diverse now than it was when Gov. Wilder was elected. A strong effort by the Dems and a good message, could put VA in their column this fall. It's worth spending a few bucks, especially if it gets the Repubilicans nervous.

Posted by: Rock_nj at June 1, 2004 08:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This is good news. I also wish Kerry would start running ads in North Carolina and even Georgia, just to sretch the envelope as far as it can go.

Posted by: Chris Bowers at June 1, 2004 02:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You know, since he's going to have to spend his cash before he accepts the nomination and $75 Million from the federal government, he might as well go hog wild and spend his money all over the place. How about New Hampshire, just to shore it up? How about Arkansas, and like you said North Carolina and Georgia. Momentum is a BIG thing in life and the same holds true for politics. If he can get some momo going in some of those long shot states, you never know where it will lead. Local organizations might get excited about getting voters to the polls, and then you might see Kerry pull off an upset win. Especially if he picks Senator Edwards of NC, that would be money well spent. I think GA might be winnable this year. Apparently, it's another state undergoing a demographic shift that will be favorable to the Dems in the long run.

Posted by: Rock_nj at June 1, 2004 02:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

GA would be in play with high turn out inside ATL and in the Southern part of the state. But its aloooong shot

Posted by: steve at June 1, 2004 09:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

that sabato! as a UVA grad I have no problem saying that his school of thought is merely consolidating conventional wisdom into discrete packets of information.

Posted by: mfs at June 3, 2004 05:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Ramussen has a GA poll out today, with Bush up 51% to 39%. So much for hopes that GA is moderating and moving towards the Dems.

Posted by: Rock_nj at June 3, 2004 06:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment