September 20, 2006

Lamont's Newest Ad Won't Attract Unaffiliated Voters

The Ned Lamont For Senate campaign has released a curious ad in which it attempts to paint Senator Joe Lieberman as a "turncoat".

Lamont's campaign is spending $93,000 this week on a series of statewide television ads that call Lieberman a "turncoat." One ad suggests that Connecticut residents should wear their coats inside-out to protest Lieberman's general election campaign.

Lamont predicted the ads will appeal to his base and undecided voters. "It was a humorous look at a guy that's been a lifelong Democrat who overnight changed his stripes," he said.

Ken Dautrich, public policy professor at the University of Connecticut, said it's important for both candidates to campaign for Democratic votes, but added that unaffiliated voters will likely decide the race. Lamont won 52 percent of the Democratic vote in last month's primary.

So how does an ad criticizing Lieberman for breaking with his party appeal to those critical unaffiliated voters?

Here's a newsflash: it doesn't. Consider why unaffiliated voters are not registered with a party. It's not because they can't decide which one they like. It's because they have no use for either of them. The idea of a Senator who's not in lock-step with his party on every issue actually appeals to them. And while some unaffiliated voters have always been so, many changed to being unaffiliated when they became disgusted with the party to which they originally belonged - feeling that they no longer did. For Democrats, Joe Lieberman doesn't belong. Does that mean that any Democrat who votes for him is a "turncoat" as well? And exactly how many non-Democrats will be up for the idea of making themselves look ridiculous by wearing their coats inside out? Stooooopid!

This strategy tells me one of two things: either the Lamont campaign is so myopic in their approach that they can't move beyond their crusade to punish him for his heresy on Iraq or their internal polling is showing that support for Lamont among registered Democrats is slipping and the percentage of "undecided voters" is growing.

Why spend so much time focusing on "the base" with seven weeks to go? If you don't have the base shored up by this point, then your campaign is in serious jeopardy.

Posted by: Gary at 09:20 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Third possibility: against all expectations, throwing Hamsher under the bus has reduced the wisdom of the Lamont brain-trust.

Posted by: Ed Flinn at September 21, 2006 12:38 PM (pEHPi)

2 When did the Lamont campaign throw Hamsher under the bus? I must have missed that. Honestly. :confused:

Posted by: Gary at September 21, 2006 01:22 PM (QoxB+)

3 I know there was disavowal after the Blackface-Joe picture, I'd assumed that they cut ties, but I don't remember reading that they really had. Maybe they just threw a towel over her and waited for attention to move on.

Posted by: Ed Flinn at September 22, 2006 04:14 AM (suTNB)

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