Saturday, November 14, 2009

Keys to McDonnell's Virginia victory

10 Lessons on how Bob McDonnell won the Virginia's Governor's race explores the key to Republican candidate Bob McDonnell's Virginia victory. A summation:

  1. Independents (and others) responded extremely well to McDonnell’s articulate, specific plans.
  2. McDonnell ran a very positive campaign.
  3. McDonnell successfully tapped in to national issues discontenting VA voters, again with specifics.
  4. McDonnell ran a disciplined campaign with a credible focus on job creation.
  5. Democrats here, as everywhere else, promise many great things, but governed terribly in the final analysis. In some parts of the state, unemployment was at depression era levels of 20-25%.
  6. McDonnell avoided the pitfalls many VA GOP statewide candidates have fallen into. The media constantly were on the lookout for a “macaca” moment (George Allen), but he did not give them one because he was wary of his audience. He did not focus on “pet issue” with which he could be caricaturized...
  7. The ground game was superb. ... He was an unapologetic conservative. ... I saw far more youths and McDonell campaign workers in an “off year election” than I ever did for McCain.
  8. McDonnell built a meaningful coalition. He had endorsements from key Democrats, business leaders, and virtually every job creating organization in the state. ... McDonnell took the time to woo key Democrats as well as Republicans.
  9. He weathered the attacks on him well. McDonnell was villified ... McDonnell and other key conservatives (Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner) called the Post out on its daily hack jobs, and they stopped in time. ... he continued to utilize the attacks as an opportunity to be the candidate to “refocus” the issues on matters that mattered to VA voters.
  10. He never rested on his laurels. His campaign frequently touted that even though they had a lead, they would run “like they were 10 points behind.” They maintained the energy level needed.

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