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Monday, December 10, 2012

Preparing for the 2013 elections

The 2013 elections are just 11 months away, and before you know it, the 2013 elections will already be here.  Since Congress does not run for odd year elections, that gives us state governor seats to examine.  In 2013, the New Jersey and Virginia governor seats are up for election.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is running for a second term in 2013.  With his popular ratings, he and the Republicans are expected to win this seat.  In Virginia, the governor is limited to one term, so there will be new candidates running in 2013.  Let's analyze the battle plan for the Democrats to win the Virginia governor's seat in 2013.

Current Virginia governor Bob McDonnell - R (shown left) dominated Creigh Deeds - D (shown right) in 2009 by a large 59% to 41% margin.  Here is a 2009 analysis of what went wrong for the Democrats.  What's done is done, so we can only look forward.  Here is what the Democratic candidate needs to do to win in 2013.

Reach out to the young voters
The 2009 analysis explains it well.  Young voters strongly vote Democrat, but they are less likely to vote in odd year elections.  Reach out to the young voters, get them to the voting polls, and develop a consistent habit to vote every year.

Reach out to the minorities
The largest minority voter group, African Americans, declined significantly in 2009.  In 2008, Black voters in Virginia made up 20% of voters and voted 95% for Obama and the Democrats.  In 2009, the Black voters in Virginia were less enthusiastic, making up 15% of voters and voted 90% for Deeds.

Creigh Deeds had a problem reaching out to minorities.  Being a rural white male, he made no effort to reach out to any Blacks, Hispanics, or Asians.  It hurt him bad as the minority voters had little motivation to come to the polls to vote for him.

Reach out to the women
Creigh Deeds was ahead of Bob McDonnell in the polls early in the campaign, when the Deeds team aired commercials portraying McDonnell as a misogynist.  However, that lead soon disappeared when he make many disastrous mistakes throughout the campaign.  Nevertheless, women will always outnumber men in every election, so secure and win the women vote.

Present the positives of yourself more than the negatives of your opponent
This is another area where Creigh Deeds botched.  He started the campaign attacking McDonnell as a misogynist, but did not present his own positive sides or why voters should vote for him.  McDonnell started off well by portraying his positives effectively so Virginia knew him well and were more friendly to him.

Candidate must be an excellent speaker and debater
Sorry, but Deeds was a bad speaker.  He had a borderline stuttering problem and a funny accent, like an uneducated hick who never graduated high school.  He performed horribly in public debates, about as bad as Sarah Palin.  Make sure your candidate is an excellent public speaker who looks great in TV commercials, and an excellent debater.

Use the power of technology and social networking sites
Coming from a poorer, isolated, unknown rural area of Virginia, Creigh Deeds was already at a disadvantage from McDonnell who was from the affluent and heavily populated northern Virginia area.  Deeds' disadvantage worsened as his campaign team did not effectively utilize technology like YouTube and internet videos and websites, and was far behind using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to Virginians.


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