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Friday, October 29, 2004

DNC Heads into Arkansas

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Markos has a post on his Daily Kos website about the DNC putting $250,000 toward television advertising in Arkansas. The information comes from an article in today's Arkansas Times. (The AT is a respected weekly paper that endorsed Kerry for President in last week's edition.)

Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, just held a conference call with Arkansas media to announce a $250,000 television ad buy for Arkansas.

Starting tonight, and continuing through Election Day, the ads will run on stations in Little Rock, Ft. Smith, and Jonesboro.

The latest public polls in Arkansas were not as positive as the Zogby (49.4% B / 48.6% K) and Opinion Research (48% B / 48% K) polls released last week. A recent SUSA poll has Bush leading 51% to 45% and a poll by the University of Arkansas has Bush leading 47% to 40% (notice that Bush is still polling far under 50% in this poll.) However, according to Terry McAuliffe, the DNC internal polls show Arkansas as a dead heat.

McAuliffe said that the commitment, which is their largest in any Southern state besides Florida, was motivated by their own internal tracking polls, which show the presidential race is a dead heat in Arkansas.

"The state is switching from red to blue," McAuliffe said. "We would not be spending a quarter of a million dollars there if it did not show that we could win."

In addition to television, radio ads will be purchased as well. And the DNC isn't the only group spending money in Arkansas today. As Markos points out, the group Win Back Respect has bought $500,000 in television advertising and $22,000 in radio. They're currently running the ad titled Brooke's Story, which I've seen multiple times already. MoveOn.org and some other groups are also running ads in the state. (I've seen them myself, but can't recall the name of the groups behind them.)

McAuliffe also confirmed that Clinton would visit the state on Sunday afternoon for a campaign event, but the details have yet to be finalized.

For those of you wondering about a recent comment I made about the owner of the Boston Red Sox growing up in Arkansas, well the Arkansas Times also has a story on it this week. It seems he grew up in Forrest City, AR as a die-hard St. Louis fan, ironically. And finally, the AP has an article out on the Arkansas Election Commission secretly meeting to discuss possible problems with Arkansas' GOP first lady, Janet Huckabee, as a poll worker in an important black precint for Democrats in Little Rock.

P.S. I just received an email from the Democrat Party in Arkansas that Clinton will be at the Aerospace Education Center on Sunday evening. Tickets will be available for anyone who wants to attend, starting tomorrow at party offices in Little Rock, Conway, Pine Bluff and elsewhere.

Update: I missed an article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about General Wesley Clark speaking yesterday at an event organized by the Win Back Respect group mentioned above. It's nice to see homegrown Arkansans speaking out for Kerry/Edwards!

FWIW, the article also mentions a couple of groups speaking out against the Gay Marriage Amendment. I'm guessing that it'll pass anyway, but there have been a surprising number of people to speak out against it. As I mentioned last time, even the conservative ADG wouldn't support it.

Posted at 12:34 AM in Arkansas | Technorati


I've been saying all along that I thought Kerry had a modest chance of winning Arknsas. It's very good to hear about the last-minute efforts here. It's so integral for the Dems to make inroads in the South, and this would be a fantastic venue. By the way, where in Arkansas is the AR Times located?

Posted by: Mark at October 29, 2004 12:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree Mark and it seems that others have now picked up on it as well. I just wish they had begun earlier. I also wish they were targeting Pine Bluff and the delta region with these ads (these are strong, but conservative, Democrat regions which need to be encouraged to vote and to vote for Kerry. i.e., Kerry won't take away their guns, etc.)

One other point I'll make is that I think they should run ads on the economic failures under Bush. Fiscal conservatives seem to make up a much larger segment of the GOP in Arkansas than many realize and many of them considered themselves Democrats not long ago. It seems likely that some could be encouraged to vote for Kerry, if they were targeted with economic messages. Many of them likely voted for Clinton and so they will vote for a Democrat if they consider him/her the best candidate.

I'm almost sure that the AT is based in Little ROck, but I don't know for certain.

Posted by: rob at October 29, 2004 01:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Guysh dont you wish you had acess to both party's internal Polls in Florida? I wish I knew what the true raw picture was in the "Sunshine" state. Let's face it in FLorida you have two parties that both thing they can win the state.

Posted by: godfrey at October 29, 2004 02:02 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I voted in Miami today. I had to wait in line for 2 hours. Most of the voters in line were voting for Kerry. This, of course, means absolutely nothing, since Miami-Dade County is a Democratic County, and since Democrats in Florida don't trust the election system, and want to vote early to make sure their vote counts. I don't believe any poll in Florida. Basically, you have to wait until election day. This state is so divided, and it is about up the middle. It is going to be all about GOTV, and you won't know until election day. We are doing an excellent job of GOTV down here, but I don't know if the Republicans have matched us or not. If they haven't, Kerry will win. If they have, it will probably come down to a few thousand votes either way.

Posted by: Sam at October 29, 2004 02:12 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good News. This was in the FT. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel today:

Jim Kane, a bipartisan local pollster and editor of the Florida Voter newsletter, sees the trend as an early indicator that Kerry is on track to get the numbers he needs out of Broward. In 2000, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore carried Broward by a 210,000-vote margin only to lose the state to Bush by 537 votes. "The Republicans are getting their butts kicked on getting out the vote," Kane said. "The Democrats are doing a much better job, and that doesn't bode well for Bush on the day of election."

Posted by: Sam at October 29, 2004 02:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sweet relief.

I have been worried that the battleground has shrunk to mostly Gore2000 states. That Kerry has been left defending Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, even Michigan.

At least this opens things up a bit in addition to the usual Bush2000 targets of Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire (and Nevada?)

Now if only they'd have a real big push for Missouri...

Posted by: anon at October 29, 2004 06:03 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The Arkansas Times is a statewide weekly that is published in Little Rock. Not a massive circulation, but they did go for Bush in 2000. It will be interesting to see what the Southwest Times Record does in Fort Smith, AR. They are a Stevens Group paper that leans right and in 2000 they endorsed Bush.... barely. The polls in 2000 were showing Arkansas pretty close, but Bush ended up winning by a pretty good margin. Can't remember the exact number, but it was 5% or 6%. There are a lot of new voters in Arkansas and you see a lot of Kerry stickers and signs in the right stronghold of Northeast Arkansas..... home area of WalMart, Tyson's and J.B. Hunt.... We will see. I would love it if Arkansas goes blue.

Posted by: Tom at October 29, 2004 06:05 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, it's about time the Kerry campaign started to take AR [and the South] seriously!!! Hopefully, the attention lavished on AR this weekend will put the state in the Kerry column on Tuesday.

Posted by: pepe at October 29, 2004 06:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm in Michigan and I just don't see Michigan going for Bush. Kerry supporters here are pissed. GOTV should be really strong.

As a side note I showed Eminem's Mosh video to my History of Rock and Roll students this week. They seemed unaffected by it. Why? Because they are already strong Kerry supporters. I was amazed at both the high number of them who are registered to vote and of their committment to voting this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the youth vote turns out on election day.

I mentioned that in the past MTV's "Rock the Vote" efforts were ineffective and they got angry about it. "This year is different!" they said. I wonder. BTW, NONE of them have anything but a cell phone. No polling data includes them.

Posted by: Randy at October 29, 2004 07:20 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Todays'Zogby #'s 47-47% Deadheat guys!!!

Posted by: godfrey at October 29, 2004 09:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Heard rumor that Bush campaign might be pulling out of Ohio, as of yesterday. Anyone else heard this?

Posted by: Matty at October 29, 2004 09:27 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matty, Bush will be going to Ohio with Schwarzenegger today, so it looks like the abandonment of Ohio is a false rumor. It strikes me as odd that pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Schwarzenegger is Bush's celebrity choice in socially conservative Ohio. He's basically giving them the worst of both worlds....a guy who opposes their conservative social agenda and their populist economic agenda.

Posted by: Mark at October 29, 2004 10:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

anyone understand what's happening in MI and in NM?

we should have gone into arkansas earlier

arnold has a very stronh personal following in central ohio from 30 years of running a very large bodybuilding convention. 50,000 people usually attend. he will hurt the chances of having a decent and intelligent president who cares about middle class families

Posted by: mark at October 29, 2004 11:44 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Way too many of these ads require the absolute latest in sofweare or gismos. You guys making the ads need to get it through your heads, it isn't the job of the public you wish to influence to keep up with you in gadgets and gismoz. Most such ads are not available to me because I don't run the latest versions of Windows or Windows Media ( I run W98 and Wmedia 6.4 for reasons I won't go into here). Once upon a time it fell to my responsibility to serve as an inhouse scientific writer and editor for a high tech research group. Over and over and over I had to remind those highly educated engineers and scientist, "It is your job to make it understandable to the reader, not his to translate from your special lingo and jargon. If he can misunderstand it or ignore it because you failed to make it clear, in HIS language, you failed, not him!"

Posted by: bdgee at October 29, 2004 01:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We're battling it out down here. At least people may start to think we're in the United States now, and maybe we can take "USA" off our license plates. In 1987,we added "USA" to the plates because of all the confusion.
New Mexico's a hard one to figure, but I've lived here 40+ years and here's my take.
It's a real poor, illiterate state. A high percentage (especially Hispanic) have never even seen a voter form. They want Kerry but don't know how to do the process of voting. It never really mattered before, since nobody paid attention to NM anyway. A lot of organizations are helping them now (and they have Spanish speaking people on staff). After the earthquakes of the 90s in CA, New Mexico (like many places) was "Californiaized"; Californians coming for the great property at LOW prices. Meanwhile, the indiginants just kept on working hard as always to support their families (and the influx brought a lot of WORK on construction jobs). But slowly but surely, the Republican elite took over as property values and taxes soared. So the indiginants had to WORK EVEN HARDER to make ends meet, and had even less time for politics.
That's where we find ourselves. I think the state will go small-margin Kerry. It's great! Hispanics are big on "extended family". Some households were asking for as many as 10 absentee apps! The whole family (all 4 generations!) were voting together. They are putting us to the test though; hard questions, like "Ricky won't be 18 until October 12th. Can he still vote?" We'd have to call the County Clerk. They're not as dumb as people think! But, as we all know WEIRD is the only word for all of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Pam at October 30, 2004 01:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment