OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Thursday, June 15, 2006 :::

A Report from TMG

Over at UCV, Flora posts a report from Ted on this week's Tuesday Morning Group Meeting at the Bull and Bear Club. The prime topic was a presentation on how a group of under-funded challengers could and did knock off a number of incumbents (including some in the GOP leadership). I recommend reading the entire thing, but a few items really pop out:

The most encouraging element of Mr. Coleman's presentation to many of the attendees was the fact that many of the conservative challengers who won in Pennsylvania prevailed despite the fact that they were decided underdogs when they began, and despite the fact that many mainstream conservative groups like the NRA opted to support the establishment candidates for reasons of expedience.

Mr. Coleman indicated that all of the campaign statements and attacks on the records of the targeted legislators were issue-based, but never personal or shrill.

Hmm. An issue-based campaign? Now that would be a rarity in Virginia politics. But so would this:

He argued that most voters are turned off to traditional campaign mailings that use the most unfavorable photos or political opponents and overly aggressive language. He indicated that all of the mail pieces produced by his firm use the best pictures of opponents that can be found in order to demonstrate that his candidates are conducting themselves in a professional and honorable manner and are just conveying important facts.

Similarly, he indicated that none of the TV ads that he produced used the common tools of the trade such as bombastic "voice-overs" that attack the opposing candidates or the red "X" marks over the opponents face. The central theme of both of his presentations is that the less gratuitously negative and personal ones appeal to voters, the more likely it will be that voters will view conservative challengers as being authentic and electable.

This approach would indeed be revolutionary. So much so that I'm fairly certain it will never be adopted. It's risky, which is a prime reason why most consultants would not recommend it. But it's also very hard to argue against the results.

Maybe it's worth running a test panel here, just to see.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 6/15/2006 0 comments


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